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Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Pfizer Provide Update on Phase III JAVELIN Gastric 300 Study in Patients with Pre-Treated Advanced Gastric Cancer

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DARMSTADT, Germany and NEW YORK, November 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

Not intended for UK-based media 

Pivotal Phase III Javelin trial investigating avelumab as third-line treatment for patients with unresectable, recurrent or metastatic gastric cancer did not meet its pre-specified primary endpoint of superior overall survival compared to chemotherapy  First global trial of a checkpoint inhibitor versus an active chemotherapy comparator rather than placebo in this hard-to-treat patient population  Safety profile was consistent with that observed in previously reported studies of avelumab; no new safety signals were identified 

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced that the Phase III JAVELIN Gastric 300 trial did not meet its primary endpoint of superior overall survival (OS) with single-agent avelumab* compared with physician’s choice of chemotherapy. The trial investigated avelumab as a third-line treatment for unresectable, recurrent or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma patients whose disease progressed following two prior therapeutic regimens, regardless of programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression. The safety profile of avelumab was consistent with that observed in the overall JAVELIN clinical development program.

“Gastric cancer in the third-line setting is a particularly hard-to-treat and heterogeneous disease, and importantly, this was the first trial conducted with a checkpoint inhibitor compared to an active chemotherapy comparator rather than placebo in a global patient population,” said Luciano Rossetti, M.D., Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research & Development at the Biopharma business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as EMD Serono in the US and Canada. “Data from this study will provide valuable information for physicians treating this late stage disease. We remain committed to our ongoing gastric cancer program with avelumab including the JAVELIN Gastric 100 study in the first-line switch maintenance setting.”

“Gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer death globally with clear unmet needs, and the results provide important insights as we continue to investigate the role of avelumab for the treatment of gastric cancer,” said Chris Boshoff, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Immuno-Oncology, Early Development and Translational Oncology, Pfizer Global Product Development. “With approvals for two cancers in 2017, our companies have made tremendous progress with avelumab on behalf of patients this year, and we are confident that our broad clinical development program in both monotherapy and combinations across a range of cancers will continue to bring new potential treatment options to patients.”

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