Remember Verastem? Back before the current biotech boom got underway (remember the current biotech boom?), they went public shockingly early. It was not a particularly instructive IPO, since the company was targeting cancer stem cells, and those (as discussed here recently) are the subject of both furious research and furious controversy. They went into the clinic with a possible mesothelioma therapy, the FAK inhibitor VS-6063 (defactinib), although you had to wonder how much that one had to do with the company’s putative stem-cell mission.
Well, that part of the story has ended. The company has been enrolling patients in a Phase II trial, using their drug as a maintenance treatment in patients who had already undergone chemotherapy, but didn’t even make it all the way through that before the whole thing was stopped for futility. The company has other compounds in this space still in development, but the implications of this trial’s failure for these efforts are still to be sorted out. The company’s stock is getting hammered today, though, and things don’t look good.