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EQRx Drops U.S. Plans for NSCLC Therapy

EQRx Drops U.S. Plans for NSCLC Therapy

EQRx Therapeutics is dropping its U.S. developmental efforts for sugemalimab plus chemotherapy, a combination it was working on as a treatment for stage IV nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Melanie Nallicheri, president and chief executive officer of EQRx, opened the company’s investors’ call on its third quarter financial report saying, “for sugemalimab with chemotherapy or on its own, there is no commercially viable path … in the U.S. for this indication.”

The company made the decision to drop sugemalimab’s NSCLC program in the U.S.  after the FDA said a non-inferiority trial comparing the drug to approved checkpoint inhibitors, with a primary endpoint of overall survival, would be necessary to move it forward.

Although the NSCLC program is going away, EQRx will continue to investigate the drug for relapsed or refractory extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma.

The biotechnology company EQRx no longer seeks to disrupt prices in the non-small cell lung cancer space. The company’s partner CStone Pharmaceuticals had been developing sugemalimab – a PD-(L)1, checkpoint inhibitor – to compete with other drugs in the therapeutic class. EQRx in-licensed exclusive rights to sugemalimab. But, due to regulatory hurdles and a change in company strategy, EQRx says it is suspending the sugemalimab program. And, for its other products in development it will pursue “market-based pricing” to “maximize shareholder value.”

November 14, 2022



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