Bavencio’s ovarian disappointment reveals a low-key industry presence

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While Parp inhibitors are transforming the treatment of ovarian cancer – at least for a subgroup of patients – the same cannot be said of checkpoint blockers. And on Friday one of the few anti-PD-(L)1 agents with an active programme in this tumour type, Merck KGaA/Pfizer’s Bavencio, flunked its first-line study, Javelin Ovarian 100. This trial had progression-free survival as its primary endpoint, but interim analysis suggested futility, causing it to be terminated. Javelin Ovarian 200, Bavencio’s study in platinum-refractory disease, continues, as do trials in combination with Parp inhibitors. But a search of clinicaltrials.gov reveals a very low-key industry presence overall, with the vast majority of checkpoint blocker studies in ovarian cancer being sponsored by academia. Other notable exceptions include the uncontrolled Keynote-100 trial of Merck & Co’s Keytruda in second-line disease, and the phase III Imagyn-050 test of Roche’s Tecentriq in combination with Avastin, in front-line treatment of tumours that also include fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers.

Failed studies of anti-PD-(L)1 antibodies across various cancer types
  Keytruda Opdivo Tecentriq Imfinzi Bavencio
  Merck & Co Bristol-Myers Squibb Roche Astrazeneca Merck KGaA/Pfizer
Urothelial     Imvigor-211 (2L)*    
Colorectal     Imblaze-370 (3L)**    
Gastric Keynote-061 (2L)        
Glioblastoma   Checkmate-143 (2L)      
NSCLC   Checkmate-026 (1L)   Arctic (3L)
Mystic (1L)*
Javelin Lung 200 (2L)
SCLC   Checkmate-331 (2L)
Checkmate-451 (1L)*
     
Head & neck Keynote-040 (2L)     Eagle (2L)*  
Ovarian         Javelin Ovarian 100 (1L)
*CTLA-4 combo; **Cotellic combo; 1L=1st line; 2L=2nd line; 3L=3rd line.

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