Adherex Technologies is paying GlaxoSmithKline a million dollars up front and a set of milestones in exchange for the outstanding options on the cancer drug eniluracil. GSK shuttered its development program for the therapy after it failed a Phase III trial in combination with 5-FU. Adherex, though, believes that the reason for the failure was an "unexpected dose- and schedule-dependent drug interaction that resulted in the inhibition of 5-FU's activation into an effective anticancer agent."
"While GSK's initial Phase III trials with the product failed, we now have data to support each element of our hypothesis as to why those trials failed," says William P. Peters, M.D., Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Adherex. "We expect to complete our Phase I dose-escalation trial in North America shortly and intend to begin our Phase II trial in breast cancer promptly thereafter. We also have a Phase I/II trial in hepatocellular cancer ongoing in Asia."