Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Merck Serono’s experimental lung cancer vaccine is being revived by the German firm after previously failing a late-stage clinical trial. The previous trial, known as START, failed to provide evidence that the Stimuvax cancer vaccine improved survival, but it seems that insights gleaned from the failure means the therapy isn’t yet dead.
“The START data delivered important insights that we believe justify further investigation in a new Phase III programme,” said Merck’s head of drug development, Annalisa Jenkins. The therapy, now called tecemotide, will be tested on patients with locally advanced Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the new START2 trial. The trial will include about 1000 participants.
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