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Bayer's phase 2 clinical trial of monotherapy for second-line mesothelioma fails

Published 25 July 2017

Bayer’s phase 2 clinical study examining anetumab ravtansine as monotherapy in patients with recurrent malignant pleural mesothelioma did not meet the primary endpoint of progression-free survival.

In a release, Bayer's partner MorphoSys stated that anetumab ravtansine is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) directed against mesothelin, consisting of an antibody made using MorphoSys’s HuCAL technology. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer and is commonly caused by occupational or environmental exposure to asbestos, it said.

Under the phase 2 clinical trial, a study was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of anetumab ravtansine as second-line treatment in 248 patients with advanced or metastatic mesothelin-positive malignant pleural mesothelioma.

In these patients, the disease had progressed after treatment with first-line platinum/pemetrexed-based chemotherapy.

Bayer also stated that anetumab ravtansine is currently being investigated both as monotherapy and in combination, apart from additional studies.

The company will further evaluate the utility and safety of anetumab ravtansine across multiple tumor types with significant unmet medical need, based on the data available. It claimed that the safety and tolerability of anetumab ravtansine in the trial were consistent with earlier clinical findings.

MorphoSys interim chief scientific officer Markus Enzelberger said: “The outcome of this phase 2 study with anetumab ravtansine in recurrent malignant pleural mesothelioma is disappointing, in particular for the patients suffering from this serious and extremely difficult to treat disease.

"Nevertheless, Bayer remains committed to further evaluating the potential of this compound across multiple tumor types with significant unmet medical need."