The results applied to recurrent malignant pleural mesothelioma patients who had received previous treatment. The trial (NCT02610140) compared anetumab ravtansine, or BAY 949343, with vinorelbine.
Bayer will present its findings at a medical conference.
Anetumab ravtansine is an antibody-drug conjugate that recognizes and binds to mesothelin, the protein that is over-produced in mesothelioma and other cancers. Binding to mesothelin allows the drug to enter a tumor cell, where it can destroy enzymes necessary for cell division and survival. The result is tumor cell death.
The trial involved 248 people with advanced or metastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma who had failed to respond to a platinum- or pemetrexed-based chemotherapy.
Patients received either anetumab ravtansine every three weeks or vinorelbine once a week. Both were administered intravenously.
The trial’s main objective was to see whether anetumab ravtansine could increase patients’ disease-progression-free survival better than vinorelbine.
Researchers also looked at other measures of anetumab ravtansine’s effectiveness, compared with vinorelbine. These included how many patients responded fully or partially to treatment, duration of response to the treatment, and patients’ overall survival rate.
Bayer said anetumab ravtansine’s safety, and patients’ ability to tolerate it, were consistent with results in previous studies.
The key finding was that anetumab ravtansine failed to improve patients’ disease-progression-free survival more than vinorelbine, however.
“Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a very difficult-to-treat tumor, and we had hoped for a better outcome for patients,” Robert LaCaze, a Bayer executive vice president, said in a press release.
“We would like to thank the patients and their caregivers, as well as the study investigators, for their participation and contributions in this study,” he said. “Based on the available data, we remain committed to further evaluating the utility and safety of anetumab ravtansine across multiple tumor types with significant unmet medical need.”
Another trial (NCT03102320) is evaluating anetumab ravtansine as a treatment for six types of advanced solid tumors. And still another (NCT03102320) is looking at it as a treatment for patients with recurrent platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.