Pfizer's Torisel drug fails in a combination study

Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:23am EDT

The entrance of Pfizer World headquaters in New York City, August 31, 2003. ECONM REUTERS/Jeff Christensen JC

The entrance of Pfizer World headquaters in New York City, August 31, 2003. ECONM

Credit: Reuters/Jeff Christensen JC

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(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc said on Friday that a late-stage trial of its drug for renal cell cancer failed to meet its main goal when given in combination with Avastin, a drug made by Roche Holding AG.

Pfizer's drug Torisel is approved as a single agent for the treatment of advanced renal cell cancer (RCC). The company had hoped to show that Torisel, known also as temsirolimus, plus Avastin, known also as bevacizumab, would be more effective in extending progression-free survival than Avastin combined with interferon-alfa-2a.

The combination of Avastin and interferon-alfa-2a is approved as a first-line treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma.

"This trial advances our knowledge about the role and limitations of combining targeted therapies in the treatment of advanced RCC," said Mace Rothenberg, senior vice president of clinical and medical affairs in Pfizer's oncology unit.

(Reporting By Toni Clarke; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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