New Therapy Is Found Effective in Kidney Cancer Test

(Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. and Merck KGaA’s immune therapy Bavencio, combined with Inlyta, cut the likelihood of advanced kidney tumors getting worse or death by more than five months compared with the standard treatment, trial analysis shows.

The companies released a joint statement, having reported similar results from the trial in October, testing Bavencio and Inlyta as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. More follow-up is needed to see whether the combination helps patients live longer, according to an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, which is publishing results from the so-called Javelin Renal 101 trial.

The late-stage trial, which includes 886 patients, is running alongside another study testing the combination of Merck & Co.’s blockbuster Keytruda therapy and Inlyta. Both trials have demonstrated improvements over Pfizer’s Sutent, and are expected to be incorporated into care guidelines, according to the editorial. Keytruda has already demonstrated a benefit in overall survival.

Germany-based Merck KGaA is not affiliated with U.S.-based Merck & Co.

Last Monday, Merck KGaA and Pfizer announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had accepted for priority review the supplemental biologics license application for Bavencio in combination with Pfizer’s Inlyta for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

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