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Pfizer shuts down kidney cancer drug trial due to "futility"

Published on 11/04/18 at 09:46am

Pfizer has revealed that it has shut down a trial of its vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor Inlyta (axitinib) after it failed to improve disease-free survival as an adjuvant therapy in the treatment of patients at high risk of recurrent renal cell carcinoma (RCC) after nephrectomy.

The decision was made on the recommendation of the Data Monitoring Committee following an interim analysis of the 274-participant trial, which was conducted in partnership with SFJ Pharmaceuticals, on the basis of its “futility”.

Inlyta originally secured US approval in 2012 for the treatment of advanced RCC after first-line systemic therapy fails, but sales of the drug have been flagging in recent years.

“We are disappointed by the outcome of this study as we had hoped the efficacy that Inlyta has demonstrated as a second-line treatment in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma would carry over to patients with earlier stage disease, where it would delay or prevent disease relapse,” said Dr Mace Rothenberg, Chief Development Officer, Oncology, Pfizer Global Product Development. “That goal was not achieved.”

“We will conduct additional analyses on the data that may provide insight into this result,” he added. “Studies evaluating Inlyta in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors for patients with a variety of advanced stage cancers, including RCC, will continue.”

The company also confirmed it would present detailed results of the failed trial at an upcoming medical conference.

Matt Fellows

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