Merck and Pfizer announced the initiation of a Phase III study, JAVELIN Ovarian 100, to evaluate the efficacy and safety of avelumab* in combination with, and/or as follow-on (maintenance) treatment to, platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease (Stage III or Stage IV) with previously untreated epithelial ovarian cancer. JAVELIN Ovarian 100 is the first Phase III study evaluating the addition of an immune checkpoint inhibitor to standard-of-care in first-line treatment for this aggressive disease.
“In an early ongoing study, avelumab showed encouraging tumor response rates in patients with recurrent or refractory ovarian cancer,” said Alise Reicin, M.D., Head of Global Clinical Development in the biopharma business of Merck. “Historically, ovarian cancer presents as an advanced disease with poor survival rates. The hope is that avelumab can change the natural history of the disease and potentially take the survival rate beyond the current five year estimate.”
JAVELIN Ovarian 100 is an open-label, international, multi-center, randomized (1:1:1) Phase III trial in treatment naïve patients with locally advanced or metastatic ovarian cancer (Stage III or Stage IV). This study is designed to evaluate the potential superiority of two first-line therapies with avelumab and platinum-based chemotherapy versus platinum-based chemotherapy alone, as assessed by progression-free survival. The study will enroll approximately 950 patients, who will receive concurrent avelumab and chemotherapy, avelumab following chemotherapy, or chemotherapy alone.
“Patients with ovarian cancer need additional treatment options. We believe there could be synergistic activity in the combination of avelumab and established treatments such as platinum-based chemotherapy,” said Chris Boshoff, M.D., Ph.D., Head of Early Development, Translational and Immuno-Oncology, Oncology in Pfizer Global Product Development. “With two studies now underway of avelumab in ovarian cancer, we look forward to receiving the results from these trials and continuing to break ground in this hard-to-treat cancer.”
The alliance aims to build a strong foundation in ovarian cancer. In December 2015, Merck and Pfizer announced the initiation of an international Phase III study of avelumab as a treatment for platinum-resistant/refractory ovarian cancer. As of May 2016, the complete JAVELIN clinical development program for avelumab includes approximately 2,200 patients enrolled, being treated across more than 15 tumor types.
For more information about avelumab, please visit www.powerofcombination.com.
*Avelumab is the proposed nonproprietary name for the anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody (MSB0010718C). Avelumab is under clinical investigation and has not been proven to be safe and effective. There is no guarantee any product will be approved in the sought-after indication by any health authority worldwide.
- GLOBOCAN2012. International Agency for Research on Cancer. World Health Organization. https://globocan.iarc.fr/Default.aspx. Last accessed June 1, 2016.
- Ovarian Cancer Statistics. World Cancer Research Fund International. https://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/ovarian-cancer-statistics. Last accessed June 1, 2016.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery