British Biotech, the beleaguered drug development company, has delivered some positive news from the second trial of its cancer drug, Marimastat. Although the trial failed to meet its primary target, the second trial has produced some evidence that it may delay the progress of stomach cancer. The new chief executive, Elliot Goldstein, said the research would be submitted to drug regulators. The first Marimastat trial, on pancreatic cancer, failed to meet its end point earlier this year when it was shown to be no better than existing treatments.
The latest trial designed to investigate the effects of the drug on patients with inoperable stomach cancer showed evidence of benefit to patients whose cancer had not spread before they started receiving Marimastat and there was some indication that tumour growth had been slowed down. Shares in British Biotech - which has been dogged by scandal and official investigations for two years - gained 6.5p to 29.5p as trial results were announced.