Takeda has pulled the plug on its investigational prostate cancer drug orteronel following disappointing late-stage data.

Results from two Phase III trials in metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) found that while orteronel plus prednisone could extend the time patients lived before their cancer progressed, it did not extend overall survival. The Japanese drugmaker noted that “after careful consideration of the data from these trials, the company has determined that the drug has not demonstrated a clinical profile sufficient to move forward in mCRPC, given the availability of other therapies”.

The prostate cancer market is a highly competitive one, dominated by new drugs such as Johnson & Johnson’s oral drug Zytiga (abiraterone), Medivation and Astellas Pharma’s Xtandi (enzalutamide) and Bayer’s Xofigo (radium-223 dichloride).

Takeda noted that there were no significant safety concerns in either study andthe company is working with trial investigators and local regulatory authorities to ensure patients who participated are transitioned to appropriate therapies.

The termination of orteronel is clearly a disappointment, though Takeda said it remains committed to oncology and to the treatment of prostate cancer. One of the Osaka-based group’s most-established drugs is Leuprin (leuprorelin), which is for prostate as well as breast cancer.