Phase III study for lung cancer treatment did not meet goal – Novartis

Findings of Phase III were presented at a recent medical meeting

Novartis has provided the updates on the Canopy-A Phase III. Photo credit: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
Novartis has provided the updates on the Canopy-A Phase III. Photo credit: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Healthcare company Novartis has announced that its Phase III of the Canopy-A trial using canakinumab as an additional medicine in treating non-small cell lung cancer did not meet its primary goal.

Announcing updates on the Canopy-A Phase III study, Novartis said the trial did not meet the basic endpoint of disease-free survival for patients with Stages ii-IIIA and IIIB resected non-small cell lung cancer.

The update by Novartis involves a study to review the treatment with canakinumab ACZ885, an inhibitor of interleukin – 1 beta in adult patients with stages II-IIIA and IIIB non-small lung cancer, which did not meet its basic endpoint of disease-free survival against the placebo.

Jeff Legos, executive vice-president of Global Head of Oncology and Hematology development at Novartis, said their investment in the Canopy program was based on the signals of reduced lung cancer frequency and fatality observed in the Cantos study. These positive signals supported the study of canakinumab as an additional treatment for early lung cancer.

He said they were unhappy about the results as they did not show any benefits they had hoped for. However, all trials create scientific evidence that supports future research and development, and they are looking to continue new therapeutic options for people with lung cancer who need urgent treatments, he said.

Canopy-A, which evaluates the efficiency and safety of canakinumab as a supplementary treatment in patients with NSCLC stages II-IIIA and IIIB, is a Phase III, multicenter, double-blind study as per the eighth edition staging of the American Joint Committee on Cancer and Union for International Cancer Control.

The back story

Canakinumab is a human monoclonal antibody that connects effectively to human 1L -1B and restrains 1L-1B activity by blocking its connection with its receptors. By stopping 1L-1B, initial evidence shows that canakinumab can stop pro-tumor inflammation to strengthen anti-tumor immune response, reduce the spread and growth of tumor cells and weaken angiogenesis.

Pro-tumor inflammation allows tumor development by pushing cancer-causing processes and withholding the anti-tumor immune responses. Novartis initiated the Canopy program after seeing fewer lung cancer fatalities among patients in the Phase III Cantos trial.

In the trial, 1,382 patients were administered canakinumab 1.1 to 200 mg intravenously every three weeks. Novartis is working to develop experimental therapies that prevent cancer growth and find more ways to activate the body’s immune system to fight cancer.

Novartis said it was committed to seeking new therapeutic options that can impact the lives of people with lung cancer. 


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