Ariad reported very positive results with its drug, ridaforolimus, in a phase III trial with patients with soft-tissue and bone tumors. The study showed patients' median progression-free survival increased by 21% to 17.7 weeks as compared to a placebo.
Merck, which paid Ariad $50 M upfront plus $19 M in R&D funding in May, plans to file for approval this year. Merck could pay Ariad an additional $514 M in milestones if the drug is commercially successful. Merck also plans to develop the drug toward other cancers. Ariad's stock rose more than 25% on the basis of the positive phase III news.
Posted by Bruce Lehr January 20th 2011.