AbbVie developed a novel BCL-2 inhibitor drug named ABT-263 for treating CLL, then used the knowledge gained from phase I trials to develop the improved drug ABT-199. Trials were suspended this month when two patients unfortunately died from Tumor Lysis Syndrome:
It's interesting to read that this company has one drug delivering over half of the company's income and they need another to reduce business risk.
How desperate a company might be for a new income stream isn't something that is likely to be high in the thoughts of those entering trials. Thankfully we do have in place appropriate processes to minimise the risk to patients entering trials and to ensure that a safe dose and delivery protocol, etc, are determined by running them. While it is very disappointing that two CLL patients died from TLS during the ABT-199 trials, the company has acted with appropriate caution despite the likely financial impact. Hopefully the company will be able to successful complete the approval process for ABT-199 as planned and benefit the company shareholders while providing those of us needing treatment with a hopefully better and safer alternative to currently available options.