© Reuters. The logo of the Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis is displayed at the headquarters of the French company in Rueil-Malmaison
ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis said on Saturday that its drug against spartalizumab mixed with the approved drugs Tafinlar and Mekinist had failed in immuno-oncology in a late-stage study against a type of advanced skin cancer.
The drug did not improve progression-free survival in previously untreated patients with BRAF V600 mutation-positive skin melanoma compared to Tafinlar + Mekinist alone, Novartis said.
Despite the failure, Novartis continues to develop spartalizumab, a so-called checkpoint inhibitor, which is supposed to slow the immune system in the fight against cancer against other types of tumors, according to the Basel-based company.
Novartis was late in developing such immuno-oncology drugs for its portfolio, an area now dominated by lucrative drugs like Merck's Keytruda, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE 🙂 Opdivo and, to a lesser extent, Roches Tecentriq.
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