By Colin Kellaher

 

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Merck KGaA's (MRK.XE) EMD Serono unit on Friday said a phase III study of the immunotherapy Bavencio in gastric cancer didn't meet its primary endpoint.

The companies said Bavencio showed clinical activity in the study, which evaluated the drug as first-line maintenance therapy following induction chemotherapy in patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic HER2-negative gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer versus continuation of chemotherapy or best supportive care.

However, Bavencio didn't meet the primary endpoints of superior overall survival compared with the standard of care in the overall intent-to-treat population or the PD-L1--positive population.

Germany's Merck and New York-based Pfizer formed a strategic alliance in 2014 to jointly develop and commercialize Bavencio.

The drug is currently approved in 50 countries for patients with the skin cancer Merkel cell carcinoma.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 08, 2019 08:45 ET (13:45 GMT)

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