EMERYVILLE, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Onyx Pharmaceuticals ( ONXX) and Bayer 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.
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.