Pfizer and Merck Cease Phase III Study for Treatment Ovarian Cancer

| By | Merck, Oncology treatment, ovarian cancer, Pfizer
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Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates its biopharmaceutical business as EMD Serono in the US and Canada, and Pfizer Inc. announced the discontinuation of the ongoing Phase III JAVELIN Ovarian PARP 100 study evaluating the efficacy and safety of avelumab in combination with chemotherapy followed by maintenance therapy of avelumab in combination with talazoparib, a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, versus an active comparator in treatment-naïve patients with locally advanced or metastatic ovarian cancer (Stage III or Stage IV). The alliance has notified health authorities and trial investigators of the decision to discontinue the trial.

The decision was based on several emerging factors since the trial’s initiation, including the previously announced interim results from JAVELIN Ovarian 100. 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 alliance between Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer was the first to test an immunotherapy in this indication, given the significant unmet need in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Four out of five women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with disease that has spread to the lymph nodes or to distant organs. Most women with advanced ovarian cancer ultimately die within five years due to refractory, resistant or recurrent disease.

JAVELIN Ovarian PARP 100 (B9991030) is an open-label, international, multi-center, randomized study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 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 primary endpoint is progression-free survival (PFS) as determined based on blinded independent central review (BICR) assessment per RECIST v1.1.

The decision to discontinue the JAVELIN Ovarian PARP 100 trial does not impact the currently approved indications for avelumab or the remainder of the ongoing JAVELIN clinical development program. The program involves at least 30 clinical programs and more than 9,000 patients evaluated across more than 15 different tumor types, including breast, gastric/gastro-esophageal junction, and head and neck cancers, Merkel cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and urothelial carcinoma.

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