GSK's blood cancer drug fails superiority trial

British drugmaker GSK said on Monday (Nov 7) its blood cancer drug Blenrep failed the main goal of a late-stage study designed to show that the treatment was better than the standard of care on the market.

The setback comes days after the London-listed company raised its 2022 forecast, maintaining its strong start as a standalone prescription medicine and vaccine business following years of underperformance relative to its peers.

GSK said Blenrep did not meet the primary endpoint of progression-free survival, or the time in which a disease does not worsen or lead to death, when compared with a combination of pomalidomide and low doses of the steroid dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Pomalidomide was developed by Celgene, now part of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

GSK said data from the superiority trial called DREAMM-3 will be shared with health authorities and discussions are currently ongoing, with additional trials of Blenrep continuing as planned.

GSK has been boosting its cancer business. Earlier this year, it agreed to buy US drug developer Sierra Oncology, gaining access to its main experimental drug for a rare blood cancer and complementing GSK's own Blenrep.

Blenrep, approved by US and European authorities in 2020, belongs to a category of treatments called antibody drug conjugates, which are engineered antibodies that bind to tumour cells and then release cell-killing chemicals. REUTERS

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