) --

Onyx Pharmaceuticals




announced Wednesday results from another mid-stage study of their drug Nexavar in breast cancer, but the new data isn't as good as data presented last week.

Technically speaking, this latest phase II study failed to achieve its primary endpoint. Patients treated with Nexavar plus the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel demonstrated a positive trend in progression-free survival compared with patients treated with paclitaxel alone, although the result wasn't statistically significant, the companies said.

The 237 patients enrolled in this Nexavar study were diagnosed with metastatic Her2-negative breast cancer and hadn't received prior treatment with chemotherapy.

Onyx and Bayer are withholding details from the study until they can be presented at an upcoming medical meeting. Patients in this study continue to be followed to determine if Nexavar can improve their overall survival.

Wednesday's data isn't as strong as results from a

phase II combination study of Nexavar and Xeloda

that was presented last week at a medical meeting in Germany.

Onyx is holding a conference call at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday to discuss the Nexavar breast cancer data -- a call that the company

inexplicably failed to have

last week.

Novartis' Data on Oral MS Drug


(NVS) - Get Report

reported top-line results Wednesday from a new two-year study of its oral multiple sclerosis drug FTY720 that may assuage some of the concerns about the drug's safety.

A 0.05 mg dose of FTY720 reduced the annualized relapse rate by 54% compared with a placebo and lowered disability progression by 30%. These efficacy results are generally in-line with a competing oral MS drug from

Merck KGaA

but are not as strong as comparable data generated by Tysabri, the MS drug from

Biogen Idec

(BIIB) - Get Report





SEE ALSO: Biotech Calendar for October

The biggest improvement for FTY720 is on the safety side, where the low dose of the drug showed no increase in infection risk compared with placebo. The cancer rate for FTY720 was lower in this new trial than in a previous trial, including no reported cases of breast cancer.

Analyst Survey: Bullish on Amgen's Osteoporosis Drug

Sanford Bernstein analyst Geoffrey Porges published a research note Wednesday with results of a doctor survey suggesting a strong outlook for


(AMGN) - Get Report

osteoporosis drug Prolia. Porges has an outperform rating on Amgen with a $76 price target.

Most doctors plan to use Prolia in osteoporosis patients who can't tolerate or otherwise can't use oral osteoporosis drugs, or in patients with severe osteoporosis, Porges said, adding that doctors are excited about the convenience of Prolia's twice-a-year dosing.

Porges does caution that he expects the FDA to approve Prolia with a relatively cautious and restrictive label, adding that the agency may miss the drug's Oct. 19 approval decision date because negotiations with the company may take longer than expected.

SEE ALSO: Biotech Calendar for October

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