EMD Serono reports disappointing results for cancer drug test

EMD Serono Inc., a Rockland-based subsidiary of the German pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA, reported disappointing results for an experimental cancer drug.

In partnership with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EMD Serono was testing cilengitide as a component of a cancer approach that included another drug called temozolomide and radiotherapy. The overall approach was called Centric. The Centric test involved more than 500 patients from 23 countries with newly diagnosed glioblastoma and methylated MGMT gene promoter status.

In a press release issued Monday, the company said that the approach did “not meet its primary endpoint.”

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The release included a statement from Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, head of global drug development and medical for Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA.

“The results of Centric are disappointing, especially for people who are fighting this devastating and difficult to treat cancer,” Jenkins said. “Over the coming months, we intend to analyze the data sets and ensure appropriate public disclosure of key information that will serve future scientific research related to targeted therapies in oncology.”

Jenkins added, “We remain committed to advancing our pipeline and developing new treatment options in oncology for patients with high medical need.”

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