Germany’s Schering AG says that it has begun recruiting patients into a Phase II clinical trial of its experimental oncology agent, PTK/ZK, in the treatment of lung cancer.

Specifically, the study – known as Goal – will evaluate the drug as a second-line momotherapy in stage IIIB/IV non-small cell lung cancer patients who have relapsed or are resistant to first-line therapy.

PTK/ZK is designed to slow tumour growth and spread by targeting tumor blood vessels and potentially lymphatic vessels. It is being co-developed by Schering and Switzerland’s Novartis and is currently being investigated in two Phase III studies in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer [[25/01/05e]]. Schering previously said that it ultimately expected the drug would become a blockbuster offering, with annual sales in excess of one billion euros [[06/01/05d]].

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths around the world accounting for more than one million deaths per year. NSCLC accounts for around 75% of all lung cancers.