September 25, 2013 / 5:46 AM / 6 years ago

Merck KGaA to continue testing cancer vaccine

FRANKFURT, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Germany’s Merck KGaA said it would start a new study testing its experimental lung cancer vaccine Stimuvax, which fell through in a previous late-stage trial.

Merck said on Tuesday it would test the drug, which it licensed from U.S. biotech firm Oncothyreon, on patients with locally advanced Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which cannot be surgically removed.

Stimuvax, also known as Tecemotide, failed to improve survival in a pivotal study in December, dealing a blow to the company and the high-risk field of using vaccines to fight tumours.

Merck said on Tuesday that data from an analysis of a predefined patient subgroup in this trial, however, showed some promise. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger)

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