- Bayer's anetumab ravtansine (BAY 949343) has missed its primary endpoint of progression-free survival as a second-line monotherapy in 248 patients with recurrent malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a cancer linked with asbestos.
- Safety and tolerability were consistent with other studies. Further details on the study, which compared the antibody-drug conjugate anetumab ravtansine with vinorelbine, will be published at future meetings.
- Work continues on anetumab ravtansine as a monotherapy or combination therapy in other solid tumors, including platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
"Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a very difficult-to-treat tumor, and we had hoped for a better outcome for patients," said Robert LaCaze, executive vice president and head of the Oncology Strategic Business Unit at Bayer.
As Bayer pursues the closing and integration of its Monsanto crop science acquisition, the company has promised that its pharmaceutical unit will remain a priority. In that vein, Bayer has said that the business will rely on th growth from six new medicines, including anetumab ravtansine.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects over 25,000 people around the world, with around 15,000 new cases seen every year in Europe and the U.S. The most common cause is asbestos exposure, and it can take 20 to 40 years to develop. The disease is aggressive, and estimated survival from diagnosis, which is often late on, is only around a year.
There are a number of mesothelioma therapeutics in development. These include Sellas Life Sciences' galinpepimut-S peptide antigen mix, expected to enter Phase 3 trials in late 2017. Aduro Biotech is developing CRS-207 in combination with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in previously-treated malignant pleural mesothelioma. Sumitomo Dainippon is carrying out a Phase 1/2 combination trial of its drug napabucasin. And EnGeneIC's Mesomir, EDV nanocells packaged with a miR-16-based microRNA, is in Phase 1 for late stage mesothelioma.