Aveo Pharmaceuticals suffers new setback as Japanese partner backs away from plan to seek European approval of Aveo’s kidney cancer drug

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Aveo Pharmaceuticals Inc., already reeling from an advisory panel recommendation early this month that US regulators reject its kidney cancer drug, has suffered a new setback.

In a regulatory filing, the Cambridge biotechnology company told investors its Japanese partner, Astellas Pharma Inc., has pulled out of an agreement to seek approval of the Aveo drug candidate in Europe. The drug treats renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer that kills tens of thousands of people worldwide every year.

While the Food and Drug Administration is expected to rule by July 28 whether to approve Aveo’s capsule for sale in the US, the Astellas retreat—following a vote against tivozanib by an FDA board—dimmed prospects for a treatment once regarded as promising for kidney cancer patients.

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