Takeda has decided to terminate late-stage trials of its investigational compound for severe sepsis treatment.

The Japanese drugmaker noted that a Phase III study of TAK-242, which suppresses production of inflammatory mediators such as cytokine, was being conducted in Japan, the USA and Europe. However, “following a thorough review of development strategy”, Takeda has concluded that its profile “does not meet the criteria to support continuation of further development activities”.

However the Osaka-based group stressed that “this decision has not been influenced by any concerns over the safety or efficacy of the compound”. Nevertheless the termination of the studies represents another failure for researchers who have found sepsis, a severe blood infection that is notoriously difficult to treat.

The news comes a week after Takeda and partner Amgen announced that they will resume enrolling patients in a late-stage trial of their lung cancer drug candidate motesanib, after receiving recommendations from an independent monitoring committee.

The Phase III trial will now be open only to patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, as patients with the squamous variety of the disease were observed to be suffering from a higher incidence of haemoptysis, ie spitting up blood, when enrolment for the trial was originally halted in November. The trial is evaluating motesanib in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin.