Merck Halts Development of Lung Cancer Treatment
Merck said it is giving up on its cancer treatment candidate tecemotide as a monotherapy for stage III non-small cell lung cancer.
The therapy already had failed a previous Phase III trial last fall, but Merck proceeded with development based on one subset of patients who showed statistically significant improvement of 10.2 months of median overall survival compared to placebo.
However, a planned analysis of a Phase I/II randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Japan revealed that tecemotide had no effect on the primary endpoint of overall survival, or on secondary endpoints such as progression-free survival, time to progression or time to treatment failure.
Tecemotide is an MUC1 antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy designed to prompt the immune system to target cancer cells expressing the MUC1 cell-surface glycoprotein.
The company plans to refocus itself on other promising cancer candidates in its pipeline, such as its anti-PD-L1 antibody MSB0010718C, Merck spokesman Luciano Rossetti told DID. — Lena Freund
Originally appeared in Drug Industry Daily, the pharmaceutical industry’s number one source for regulatory news and information. Click here for more information.