Oral cancer drug in phase 2 trials

March 30, 2011

Roche officials say phase 2 trials of vismodegib, the company’s experimental oral skin cancer drug, suggest that the treatment has the ability to shrink advanced basal cell carcinoma tumors in some patients, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Zurich - Roche officials say phase 2 trials of vismodegib, the company’s experimental oral skin cancer drug, suggest that the treatment has the ability to shrink advanced basal cell carcinoma tumors in some patients, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

During the trials, which included 104 patients, researchers flagged safety issues such as muscle spasms, hair loss and diarrhea. Roche officials said patient deaths occurred during the trial, but that they “don’t appear” to be related to the drug. According to Dow Jones, further trial details were unavailable.

Roche, based in Zurich, is developing vismodegib with Curis, of Lexington, Mass. Roche officials say they plan to present study data at an upcoming medical meeting and that the company already has started phase 2 trials involving patients who suffer from operable basal cell carcinoma.