Merck KGaA suffers setback on cancer drug

German pharmaceuticals maker Merck KGaA said Thursday that phase III clinical trials of its gastric cancer drug Erbitux had shown no benefits for patients.

The trials found that in combination with standard chemotherapy, did not extend "the length of time that patients live without their disease getting worse," Merck KGaA said in a statement.

"We are disappointed that the ... trial did not show a benefit for patients with advanced gastric cancer when Erbitux was added to standard chemotherapy," said Florian Lordick, in charge of the clinical trials.

"Understandably, these results are disappointing for patients with advanced , and as a company we will continue to invest in oncology research and development to find new treatments for these diseases," said Merck's head of drug development, Annalisa Jenkins.

The results would not alter the proven utility of Erbitux in its already approved indications for metastatic and , Merck KGaA said.

The news hit Merck KGaA shares which were showing a loss of 0.38 percent at 79.65 euros in mid-morning trade on the Frankfurt stock exchange in a generally firmer market.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Merck says US rejects its MS drug

Mar 02, 2011

German pharmaceutical group Merck KgaA said Wednesday that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused to approve use of its multiple sclerosis treatment Cladribine.

Facebook sidelines contested Merck profile page

Nov 29, 2011

Facebook will sideline a Merck page at the social network until a pair of US and German companies work out which one gets the online address, a source familiar with the matter told AFP.

Novel 4-drug combination proves safe for lung cancer treatment

Nov 13, 2008

The four drug-combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel, with the targeted therapies bevacizumab (Avastin) and cetuximab (Erbitux), is safe and may improve survival for patients with advanced lung cancer, according to a cooperative ...

Recommended for you

Pain and itch may be signs of skin cancer

1 hour ago

Asking patients if a suspicious skin lesion is painful or itchy may help doctors decide whether the spot is likely to be cancerous, according to a new study headed by Gil Yosipovitch, MD, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology ...

Genetics of cancer: Non-coding DNA can finally be decoded

5 hours ago

Cancer is a disease of the genome resulting from a combination of genetic modifications (or mutations). We inherit from our parents strong or weak predispositions to developing certain kinds of cancer; in addition, we also ...

User comments