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Takeda and Merck abandon cancer drug

Merck and Takeda are terminating the development of their cancer drug matuzumab after disappointing late-stage trials.

Merck and Takeda are terminating the development of their cancer drug matuzumab after disappointing late-stage trials.

Merck first announced in August 2007 that trial results were not promising, and that it may abandon development of the drug.

A phase II trial investigating matuzumab in combination with irinotecan in patients with mCRC who had already failed on multiple prior treatments, including irinotecan, has not met its predefined endpoint of activity. The companies said at the time that they would continue to study the drug in other tumours including NSCLC.

According to a statement released yesterday (January 18) by Takeda, matuzumab has not met predefined clinical endpoints of activity in phase II clinical trials in indications such as gastric cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Takeda entered into a co-development and co-commercialisation agreement for matuzumab with Merck in September 2005, which covered markets including the US, several countries in Europe, Japan and some countries in Asia.

18th February 2008

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