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Kyowa Hakko Kirin terminates ArQule's anticancer drug program

Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. Ltd. discontinued its development program for the tivantinib anticancer drug due to a lack of positive clinical trial results, the Japanese drugmaker said.

Tivantinib, also known as ARQ 197, was originally discovered by ArQule Inc.

In 2007, Kyowa Hakko Kirin signed a license agreement with ArQule to develop and commercialize the drug in several Asian countries for gastric cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and liver cancer indications.

In 2008, ArQule also signed a similar license agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd for tivantinib's development and commercialization in other markets such as the U.S., Europe, South America and the rest of the world.

In February, Daiichi Sankyo's phase 3 trial for tivantinib failed to improve overall survival in liver cancer patients. One month later, the drug also failed to make a difference in liver cancer patients' progression-free survival in Kyowa Hakko Kirin's phase 3 trial.