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Erytech Pharma shares plummet as cancer drug fails in clinical trial

Erytech Pharma Société Anonyme shares dropped 30.62% on Dec. 8 after the failure of the French company's Graspa cancer drug in a phase 2b trial.

The results from the trial showed that Graspa in combination with low-dose cytarabine was no better than low-dose cytarabine alone for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, in older and frail patients.

The combination treatment did not meet the main goal of overall survival and also missed secondary goals that included progression-free survival, or the length of time patients live without their disease worsening, and overall response to therapy.

The drug met a secondary endpoint related to toxicity, which the company said was at an acceptable level and consistent with previously reported data for the drug.

Erytech Pharma said the trials included 123 patients over the age of 65 who were newly diagnosed with AML and could not endure intensive chemotherapy.

The study was performed in collaboration with Orphan Europe, a subsidiary of Recordati SpA, Erytech's partner for the anticipated commercialization of Graspa for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia in Europe. Recordati shares rose 1.66% on Dec. 8.