Merck KGaA suffers setback on cancer drug

July 5, 2012

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.

Explore further: High EGFR expression a predictor for improved survival with cetuximab plus chemotherapy

Related Stories

High EGFR expression a predictor for improved survival with cetuximab plus chemotherapy

July 5, 2011
High epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression was a good predictor of which lung cancer patients would survive longer when cetuximab (Erbitux) was added to first-line chemotherapy, according to research presented ...

Recommended for you

Many pelvic tumors in women may have common origin—fallopian tubes

October 17, 2017
Most—and possibly all—ovarian cancers start, not in ovaries, but instead in the fallopian tubes attached to them.

New bowel cancer drug target discovered

October 17, 2017
Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have discovered a new drug target for bowel cancer that is specific to tumour cells and therefore less toxic than conventional therapies.

Researchers find novel mechanism of resistance to anti-cancer drugs

October 17, 2017
The targeted anti-cancer therapies cetuximab and panitumumab are mainstays of treatment for advanced colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, many patients have tumors ...

Using artificial intelligence to improve early breast cancer detection

October 17, 2017
Every year 40,000 women die from breast cancer in the U.S. alone. When cancers are found early, they can often be cured. Mammograms are the best test available, but they're still imperfect and often result in false positive ...

New assay may boost targeted treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

October 17, 2017
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive cancer and the most frequently diagnosed non-Hodgkin lymphoma worldwide (nearly 40% of cases). Recent advancements indicate that both the prognosis and choice of treatment ...

Biology of childhood brain tumor subtypes offers clues to precision treatments

October 17, 2017
Researchers investigating pediatric low-grade gliomas (PLGG), the most common type of brain tumor in children, have discovered key biological differences in how mutated genes combine with other genes to drive this childhood ...

0 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.