Tecemotide, a synthetic lipopeptide immunotherapy was being developed as a cancer vaccine against the MUC1 glycoprotein that is often aberrantly overexpressed in NSCLC.
Merck announced today that its biopharmaceutical division Merck Serono will discontinue the clinical development program of its investigational MUC1 antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy tecemotide (also known as L-BLP25) as a monotherapy in Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Luciano Rossetti, Global Head of Research & Development at Merck Serono, said: "While the data from the exploratory subgroup analysis in the START trial generated a reasonable hypothesis to warrant additional study, the results of the recent trial in Japanese patients decreased the probability of current studies to reach their goals. Therefore, we have decided to discontinue the development of tecemotide as a monotherapy in NSCLC in order to refocus our efforts on other promising candidates in our pipeline, like our anti-PD-L1 antibody MSB0010718C. Merck Serono remains committed to developing new treatment options for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers."
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