Merck Tecemotide Cancer Vaccine Fails Phase II Clinical Trial Goal

Merck’s therapeutic cancer vaccine candidate, tecemotide, has shown no treatment effect in any trial endpoints

Merck’s experimental therapeutic cancer vaccine,  in partnership with Oncothyreon,  has recently shown disappointing clinical trial results after the drug failed to meet its primary endpoint, as well as several other secondary endpoints. Many pharmaceutical companies are currently developing therapeutic cancer vaccines, and these are the ones to watch.

Cancer vaccine trials are notoriously difficult to carry out and undergo many different and diverse sets of clinical challenges., as reported by vaccine nation.

The clinical trials for the drug took place in Japan, and the volunteers all had non small cell lung cancer.  The drug failed to meet its main objective of boosting overall survival in small cell lung cancer patients, as well as not showing any treatment effect in phase II trial endpoints.

178 patients participated in the trials, and 94% of those were undergoing chemotherapy at the same time. In 2012, a similar trial was conducted, and the result was that median overall survival increased to 30.8 months with the rug, as opposed to the control arm of the trial which a survival rate of 20.6 months. These results and the desired endpoints were not replicated in the latest trials.

This is not the first time that an experimental cancer vaccine has failed to pass through early stage clinical trials  Many previous attempts to develop therapeutic cancer vaccines have been considered failures.

Merck will continue to study and trial the experimental vaccine, reluctant to drop it from its pipeline.

Read more about it here: Clinical failure for Merck KGaA’s cancer vaccine dents subpopulation hopes

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