Pfizer has suffered another clinical setback with tanezumab after the drugs giant revealed that it has discontinued studies of the drug in chronic low back pain and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

The company said the suspension of the studies was made at the request of the US Food and Drug Administration and follows “further consideration of reports of adverse events in osteoarthritis patients taking tanezumab, and the agency's concerns regarding the potential for such events in other patient populations in which the compound is being studied”. Pfizer halted tanezumab studies in patients with osteoarthritis in June.

That latter clinical hold followed “a small number of reports” of tanezumab patients experiencing the worsening of OA leading to joint replacement. At the time, Pfizer noted that to date, “this adverse event has not been observed in non-OA patient populations”.

The New York-based behemoth added that it will continue to work with the FDA “to reach a common understanding about the appropriate scope of continued clinical investigation of tanezumab”. Pfizer stated that “investigation of the compound continues in some areas of high unmet medical need, including cancer pain”.