By Colin Kellaher

 

Pfizer Inc. and Merck KGaA's EMD Serono unit on Friday said they are ending a Phase III study of the immunotherapy Bavencio in head and neck cancer because it was unlikely to meet its primary endpoint.

The companies said the study evaluating Bavencio in addition to chemoradiotherapy, the standard of care, in patients with untreated locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, was unlikely to show a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival based on a preplanned interim analysis.

Pfizer and EMD said they have accepted the recommendation of the study's independent data monitoring committee to terminate the trial.

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

March 13, 2020 09:11 ET (13:11 GMT)

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