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Phase 3 Trial Halted Early After Sunitinib Demonstrates Greater Progression-free Survival than Placebo

March 13, 2009 -- NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer Inc announced today that a phase 3 clinical trial of Sutent (sunitinib malate) has been stopped early after the drug showed significant benefit in patients with advanced pancreatic islet cell tumors, also known as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

An independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) recommended halting the trial after concluding that Sutent demonstrated greater progression-free survival compared to placebo plus best supportive care in patients with pancreatic islet cell tumors.

“We are delighted by these findings which demonstrate that Sutent provides a benefit for patients with advanced, well-differentiated pancreatic islet cell tumors — a rare cancer with limited treatment options,” said Dr. Mace Rothenberg, senior vice president of medical development and clinical affairs for Pfizer’s Oncology Business Unit. “These and previously reported phase 2 data contribute to the growing body of evidence indicating activity with sunitinib in patients with pancreatic islet cell tumors.”

Pfizer has notified clinical trial investigators involved in the trial and regulatory agencies of the DMC recommendations. All patients in the trial will have the option to continue taking Sutent or be switched from placebo to Sutent. The full data set from this trial is being analyzed and more details will be presented at an upcoming scientific meeting.

This phase III trial of sunitinib in patients with advanced pancreatic islet cell tumors was initiated based on the results of a earlier phase II trial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology(July 2008).

In contrast to exocrine pancreatic adenocarcinoma, pancreatic islet cell tumors are rare, indolent tumors of the endocrine pancreas with an incidence of 5-10 per million worldwide annually. Pancreatic islet cell tumors include insulinomas, glucagonomas and gastrinomas. Current treatment options are limited.

Sutent is currently approved for both advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and second-line gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), based on efficacy and safety data from large, randomized Phase 3 clinical trials. Sutent has played an important role in reshaping the treatment landscape for these two difficult-to-treat cancers. To date, more than 38,000 patients globally have been treated with Sutent in the clinical setting and trials.

This is the second phase III Sutent trial Pfizer has stopped early on the recommendation of an independent data monitoring committee due to benefit. In January 2005, a phase III trial in GIST was unblinded early when a planned interim analysis showed significantly longer time to tumor progression with Sutent compared to placebo.

Sunitinib Clinical Research Program
Pfizer is pursuing a broad development program for sunitinib malate and is studying its role in the potential treatment of various solid tumors including advanced breast cancer, advanced non-small cell lung cancer, advanced colorectal cancer, advanced hepatocellular carcinoma and advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer in Phase 3 trials.

Healthcare professionals who are interested in learning more about sunitinib trials that are open for enrollment can visit the SUN program web site at www.suntrials.com. Patients with questions should contact their treating physician or obtain additional information through Pfizer, by calling 1-800-TRY-FIRST (1-800-879-4377).

About SUTENT® (sunitinib malate)
SUTENT is an oral multi-kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of advanced RCC and GIST after disease progression on or intolerance to imatinib mesylate.

SUTENT works by blocking multiple molecular targets implicated in the growth, proliferation and spread of cancer. Two important SUTENT targets, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), are expressed by many types of solid tumors and are thought to play a crucial role in angiogenesis, the process by which tumors acquire blood vessels, oxygen and nutrients needed for growth. SUTENT also inhibits other targets important to tumor growth, including KIT, FLT3 and RET.

Source: Pfizer

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