A cancer treatment from Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. failed to meet its main, late-stage study goal of improving overall survival in patients with advanced cases of lung cancer.
The companies said Tuesday they studied the drug, Nexavar, in patients with advanced relapsed or refractory non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer whose disease had progressed after previous treatments. The international study involving more than 700 patients compared the performance of Nexavar, or sorafenib, tablets to a placebo.
Researchers did see an improvement in a secondary goal of progression-free survival, the companies said. That measures the time from the start of treatment until a patient's cancer begins advancing again or the patient dies.
Nexavar already is approved in the United States to treat forms of liver and kidney cancer and is being studied in other cancers as well.
Bayer HealthCare is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals business of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of German pharmaceutical and chemicals firm Bayer AG. Onyx is based in South San Francisco, Calif.
Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer worldwide, with about 1.2 million new cases developing each year, the companies said.