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Checkpoint to wind down and close cancer trial due to Russia-Ukraine war

Checkpoint Therapeutics announced the discontinuation of its CONTERNO cancer trial last week, citing the war in Ukraine as a leading reason.

The phase 3 study is a global, randomized trial of cosibelimab in combination with chemotherapy as the first in-line treatment for patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer.

The geopolitical conflict between Ukraine and Russia has had consequences on all industries and pharma is no exception. In CONTERNO’s case, most trial sites are based in Russia, which Checkpoint says has caused “substantial” longer enrollment periods than expected. Now the company will be winding down the study and closing it over the next few months, “and all costs associated with the study to cease by the end of the fourth quarter.”

Earlier this year, 700 pharma companies came together in a letter denouncing President Vladimir Putin for Russia’s actions. The letter condemned Putin’s “unprovoked war against Ukraine” and marked the invasion as a cause for complete and immediate “economic disengagement.”