Pfizer halts patient enrollments in a lung-cancer drug trial

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) on Friday said it has stopped enrolling new patients in a late-stage clinical trial of its experimental lung-cancer compound with the tongue-tying name of figitumumab. Pfizer made this decision for safety reasons, it confirmed in an e-mailed statement to DailyFinance on Monday morning. Sally Church of Pharma Strategy Blog first broke the news on Friday.

Independent safety monitors overseeing the study recommended that Pfizer suspend enrollments after finding more serious adverse events, "including fatalities, in patients who were randomized to receive figitumumab," than with patients not receiving the drug. Pfizer says 681 patients were enrolled in trial (of the 820 it planned) as of of Sept. 30, and those patients may continue their treatment in consultation with their physicians.