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.

Related Stories

Merck says US rejects its MS drug

date 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

date 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

date 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

Diagnosing cancer with help from bacteria

date 2 hours ago

Engineers at MIT and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) have devised a new way to detect cancer that has spread to the liver, by enlisting help from probiotics—beneficial bacteria similar to ...

Scientists identify key to preventing secondary cancers

date 3 hours ago

Leading scientists from the University of Sheffield and University of Copenhagen have identified a possible key to preventing secondary cancers in breast cancer patients, after discovering an enzyme which ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.