Merck, Pfizer Phase III Gastric Cancer Trial Fails

Nov 28, 2017

Merck and Pfizer Inc. reported that their Phase III JAVELIN Gastric 300 trial did not meet its primary endpoint of superior overall survival with single-agent avelumab compared with chemotherapy. The trial investigated avelumab (Bavencio) as a third-line treatment for unresectable, recurrent or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma patients whose disease progressed following two prior therapeutic regimens, regardless of programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression.

"Gastric cancer in the third-line setting is a particularly hard-to-treat and heterogeneous disease, and importantly, this was the first trial conducted with a checkpoint inhibitor compared to an active chemotherapy comparator rather than placebo in a global patient population," said Luciano Rossetti, M.D., Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research & Development at the Biopharma business of Merck. "Data from this study will provide valuable information for physicians treating this late stage disease. We remain committed to our ongoing gastric cancer program with avelumab including the JAVELIN Gastric 100 study in the first-line switch maintenance setting."

"Gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer death globally with clear unmet needs, and the results provide important insights as we continue to investigate the role of avelumab for the treatment of gastric cancer," said Chris Boshoff, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Immuno-Oncology, Early Development and Translational Oncology, Pfizer Global Product Development.

The JAVELIN Gastric 300 data will be further examined in an effort to better understand the results and will also be submitted for presentation at an upcoming medical congress, according to a press release. The outcome of JAVELIN Gastric 300 does not have any impact on current avelumab approvals.