Monday, October 30, 1995
Many a biotech company has been undone when its lead compound failed, particularly
when there were no other late-stage products to fill the gap between the first
product and early research. CytRx Corp. has tried to set up a corporate structure
that insulates the various pieces of its business from each other, and the fate
of the company will depend in part on how successful that strategy proves to
Disappointing results from an international Phase II/III trial of CYTR's lead
compound, RheothRx, last week prompted partner Glaxo Wellcome to discontinue
the drug's development. Burroughs Wellcome committed - and spent - $70 million
on the Atlanta company under a 1990 agreement to develop the cardiovascular
CYTR shares were off $1.937 on the week, closing at $1.063 on Friday.
RheothRx, a block ionic copolymer, proved ineffective in the trial of 2,948
myocardial infarction patients at the lower dose of 15 mg/kg, and was too toxic
to the kidneys at the higher, effective dose of 30 mg/kg.
The results came as a surprise to the company: in a Phase II study in 114 patients,
only five manifested elevated creatinine levels