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AVEO, Biodesix report results from phase 1 trials of cancer drug

AVEO Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its partner Biodesix Inc. reported results from a phase 1 trial combining their drug candidate ficlatuzumab with cetuximab to treat cetuximab-resistant metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Cetuximab is a chemotherapy treatment.

The study data, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, showed a disease control rate of 67% and prolonged progression-free and overall survival compared to historical controls.

The drug combination was well tolerated and achieved an overall response rate of 17% along with a median progression-free survival of six months and overall survival of 8.2 months.

The company expects to initiate a phase 2 trial for the combination therapy in the second half.

AVEO and Biodesix also announced results from a phase 1 study combining ficlatuzumab with chemotherapy drug cytarabine to treat high-risk relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

The study, which enrolled nine patients, demonstrated early signs of tolerability and activity with a 50% complete response rate.

The company, however, also reported one death in the trial, due to sepsis and multi-organ failure.