AbbVie abandons late-stage lung cancer asset Rova-T

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - AbbVie Inc said on Thursday it will cease to develop its experimental drug Rova-T after the treatment failed to show survival benefit in a late-stage trial for a type of lung cancer. The drugmaker acquired Rova-T through its $5.8 billion acquisition of Stemcentrx in 2016, but recorded impairment charges of about $4 billion in January after it halted enrolment of a separate study testing the therapy.

An independent data monitoring committee recommended terminating the trial after an interim data analysis, the company said on Thursday.

Rova-T is a drug-antibody combination that targets a protein called DLL3, found in over 80% of patients with small-cell lung cancer.

AbbVie, which is testing treatments for more than 20 different types of cancer, said it will now prioritize other development programs within its cancer pipeline.

The drugmaker in June said it would acquire Allergan Plc for about $63 billion before its blockbuster arthritis treatment Humira loses U.S. market exclusivity.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli