Puma pharmaceutical's new drug, neratinib, did not perform as well as Herceptin in the latest clinical trials - by the definition of extending disease free survival.
However, bad news doesn't mean bad news when you look at the rest of the story.
"As expected, there was no statistically significant difference in
progression-free survival and objective response rate for the paclitaxel
plus neratinib arm compared to the paclitaxel plus trastuzumab arm,"
Auerbach said. "However ... while the development of other HER2-targeted
drugs has produced a clinically meaningful benefit to patients with
HER2 positive breast cancer, these drugs have had little impact on CNS
metastases. As a result, we believe that there remains an unmet clinical
need for reducing the incidence of CNS metastases, and the results of
the NEfERTT study demonstrate that we may be able to provide this type
of improvement with neratinib."
CNS metastases are Clinical Nervous System mets (I had to look that up). Which would really suck. So that means that while it did not extend disease free survival it did open a door to other advancements. So stay tuned, I guess, for the rest of the story. Or maybe this is just called progress.