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Onyx Drug Fails Lung Cancer Study: BioBuzz

Nexavar fails to prolong survival in a second pivotal study of newly diagnosed lung cancer patients.



) --

Onyx Pharmaceuticals


and the German drug firm


said Monday that their cancer drug Nexavar failed to prolong the survival of lung cancer patients in a phase III study.

This is the second time that Nexavar has failed to help patients live longer in a late-stage lung cancer study.

Monday's results came from the so-called "Nexus" study, which tested Nexavar plus the chemotherapy drugs cisplatin and gemcitabine against the chemo combination on its own in patients with newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer. Treatment with Nexavar did not help patients live longer -- the study's primary endpoint -- although the time before patients' tumors started to grow again was extended, the companies said.

A previous phase III lung cancer study of Nexavar combined with a different chemo regimen similarly failed to boost patient survival. The companies said Monday that additional clinical studies in lung cancer continue.

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Nexavar is approved for the treatment of kidney cancer and liver cancer.

Onyx is expected to release top-line results from a pivotal study of its multiple myeloma drug carfilzomib later this year.

Onyx shares closed Friday at $22.83.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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