Gilead Sciences pauses enrollment for cancer treatment in solid tumor trials

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 5:44 PM

(Reuters) – Gilead Sciences said on Thursday enrollments to test its cancer drug, magrolimab, on solid tumors had been paused globally, a week after the U.S. regulator put some studies on hold following increased risk of patient deaths.

Gilead is reviewing the benefit-risk of magrolimab across all ongoing trials and will provide an update on this assessment as soon as possible, it said

An analysis of a late-stage and other studies showed an increased risk of death, the company had said, in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s hold on the drug’s trials.

The U.S. drugmaker had also said it would stop testing magrolimab on all forms of blood cancers and review its safety across other studies such as those in patients with colon and breast cancers.

The drug is an antibody treatment that blocks a type of protein, called CD47, which helps damaged cells avoid destruction by the immune system. Gilead gained access to the treatment through its $4.9 billion purchase of Forty Seven Inc in 2020.

Gilead has also discontinued a study of the drug, in combination with a type of chemotherapy, in patients with a higher risk of a group of disorders resulting from dysfunctional blood cells in July 2023.

I-mab, Innovent Biologics, Akeso are among companies looking to develop a similar class of drugs for cancer.

(Reporting by Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)