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Pfizer and Merck discontinue Phase 3 avelumab ovarian cancer trial

Published on 20/03/19 at 10:07am

Pfizer and Merck KGaA have chosen to discontinue the Phase 3 JAVELIN trial looking into avelumab in combination with chemotherapy as a treatment for advanced ovarian cancer.

The discontinued trial sought to investigate avelumab in combination with chemotherapy followed by maintenance therapy of avelumab in combination with talazoparib versus an active comparator in treatment-naïve patients with locally advanced or metastatic ovarian cancer (Stage III or Stage IV).

“The decision was based on several emerging factors since the trial's initiation, including the previously announced interim results from JAVELIN Ovarian 100m,” Pfizer said in a statement.

“The alliance determined that the degree of benefit observed with avelumab in frontline ovarian cancer in that study does not support continuation of the JAVELIN Ovarian PARP 100 trial in an unselected patient population and emphasizes the need to better understand the role of immunotherapy in ovarian cancer.”

“Additional factors include the rapidly changing treatment landscape and the approval of a PARP inhibitor in the frontline maintenance setting. The decision to discontinue the JAVELIN Ovarian PARP 100 trial was not made for safety reasons.”

The decision comes after the approval of AstraZeneca’s PARP inhibitor Lynparza (Olaparib) for frontline cases of ovarian cancer. The failure marks the Pfizer/Merck alliances third flop in ovarian cancer in recent months.

Louis Goss

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