Novartis lung cancer drug fails another Phase III trial

ZURICH, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Novartis (NOVN.S) said on Monday its canakinumab drug had failed in another trial, missing targets to improve overall survival rates for lung cancer patients and prevent the progression-free survival of people with the condition.

The Swiss company said its Canopy-1 Phase III study did not meet its primary endpoints when treating patients with previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in combination with pembrolizumab plus platinum-based doublet chemotherapy.

The announcement serves as a blow for Novartis after the drug, in combination with chemotherapy agent docetaxel, failed earlier this year to improve survival in patients in its Canopy-2 Phase III study.

Novartis would continue to examine to see whether canakinumab would be effective both as an after- and pre-surgery treatment, the company added.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis’ logo is seen at the company’s plant in the northern Swiss town of Stein, Switzerland October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

“CANOPY-1 provides critical insights into the treatment of this devastating disease, and we will continue to analyse the data and conclusions, as well as their potential clinical implications,” John Tsai, Novartis’ head of Global Drug Development and chief medical officer said.

“While this trial did not confirm the benefit for all patients we hoped for, we are energized by the overall CANOPY-1 findings as they support our commitment to continue studying canakinumab in lung cancer.”

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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