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Merck KGaA: lung cancer drug trial misses endpoint

(CercleFinance.com) - Merck and Pfizer's Avelumab has failed in a late-stage study to improve overall survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the German group said on Thursday.

The Phase III trial comparing Avelumab to anti-cancer drug docetaxel in patients with unresectable, recurrent or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease progressed after treatment with a platinum-containing doublet therapy did not meet its prespecified endpoint of improving overall survival, Merck said.

Despite the setback, Merck's shares are currently up 1.3% this morning on Frankfurt's DAX index.

"The impact of yesterday's news is relatively limited," one trader said. "Merck should be able to file in second-line treatment of the disease on the basis of these results," he said.

In November 2014, Merck and Pfizer announced a strategic alliance to co-develop and market Avelumab.

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