Bayer's Nexavar misses target in liver cancer trial

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[March 11, 2014]  FRANKFURT (Reuters) Germany's Bayer said a final stage Phase III clinical trial of cancer drug Nexavar as an adjuvant therapy for liver cancer did not meet its main target.

Nexavar, or sorafenib, is made by Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, and is already approved to treat advanced kidney cancer and liver cancer that cannot be surgically removed.

Bayer is testing the drug, taken orally, as an additional treatment for liver cancer patients who had no detectable disease after surgery. It said on Tuesday that the trial did not meet its main goal of improving recurrence-free survival.

"We are disappointed that the trial did not meet its primary endpoint," said Joerg Moeller, member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee. "However, we remain committed to exploring the full potential of sorafenib in all stages of liver cancer."

Bayer shares were down 0.3 percent in early trade, underperforming a 0.2 percent rise for German blue chips.

Liver cancer is the sixth-most common cancer in the world with more than 780,000 cases diagnosed each year, Bayer said.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by Christoph Steitz and Mark Potter)

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