ArQule drug works best in certain lung cancers

* Most gain: non-squamous, KRAS mutation, EGFR wild-type

* Detailed results expected later Saturday

CHICAGO, June 5 (BestGrowthStock) – A mid-stage trial of ArQule
Inc’s (ARQL.O: ) experimental drug ARQ197 showed that it was most
effective in certain types of lung cancer tumors.

The drug worked best in tumors that were non-squamous, had
mutations in a gene called KRAS or did not have genetic
mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor, according to
trial data provided to the American Society of Clinical
Oncology.

ArQule is scheduled to present detailed results of the
167-patient study later on Saturday.

The company said in March that the drug, used in
combination with Tarceva, led to a 66 percent improvement in
the amount of time patients lived without their cancer
worsening, compared with use of Tarceva and a placebo.

The ASCO summary said 54 percent of trial patients treated
with ARQ197 had adenocarcinomas, compared with 64 percent of
the Tarceva-only group.

Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer,
making up between 30 and 40 percent of cases. Squamous cell
carcinoma is the second-most common type, making up about 30
percent of all cases.

EGFR mutations were seen in 7 percent of the treatment
group, compared with 13 percent of the Tarceva-only patients.
Twelve percent of ARQ197 patients had KRAS mutations, while
only 6 percent of the Tarceva-only group fell into that
category.

ARQ197 is part of a potential new class of cancer drugs
designed to block a protein, called C-met, involved in cancer
cell growth and survival.

Tarceva, which is designed to target EGFR, is sold by Roche
AG (ROG.VX: ) and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc (OSIP.O: ).

ArQule, in partnership with with Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo
(4568.T: ), is testing ARQ197 in several different types of
cancer.

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(Reporting by Deena Beasley, editing by Matthew Lewis)

ArQule drug works best in certain lung cancers