Double clue dashes ArQule’s lung cancer hopes

Date October 03, 2012

The market’s reluctance to attribute significant value to ArQule’s lead project, tivantinib (ARQ 197), which had made the company one of biotech’s underperformers, has turned out to have been justified after all.

Ironically, the safety issue that had halted tivantinib’s first phase III study had no read-across to the second, which has instead been struck down by lack of efficacy, scuppering the project’s prospects in lung cancer. While ArQule has swiftly turned its focus for tivantinib to liver cancer, the market has taken a dim view of the situation; the shares lost 56% of their value yesterday, taking the company’s market cap to below the $147m of gross cash it reported in June.

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