Novocure device fails in late-stage ovarian cancer trial, shares slump

(Reuters) -Novocure said on Monday its therapy failed in a late-stage trial to meet the main goal of improving survival rates in patients with a type of ovarian cancer, dragging shares of the company down to a five-year low.

A separate trial in June in a type of lung cancer patients raised concerns about the commercial success of the device, which in combination with certain chemotherapies and immunotherapies helps in creating electric fields that disrupt cancer cell growth.

The results from the studies raise more questions into the potential revenue stream for the company, said H.C. Wainwright analyst Emily Bodnar.

Shares of the therapy developer were down 31.4% to $20.44 in morning trade.

The combination therapy on Monday showed an overall survival rate of 12.2 months, not significantly higher than the 11.9 months in patients who were treated only with paclitaxel - the chemotherapy it was combined with.

The company also noted that a subgroup analysis suggests a potential survival benefit in patients who received only one prior line of therapy, adding that the full evaluation of the study was ongoing.

Bodnar said there is not much of an opportunity in the ovarian cancer indication unless the company initiates new late-stage trials focusing on the smaller subgroup.

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Shinjini Ganguli)