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Merck commences late-stage trial for breast cancer vaccine


DARMSTADT, Germany A late-stage trial that began Monday will test an investigational vaccine for breast cancer.

Merck KGaA announced the initiation of a phase 3 study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Stimuvax (BLP25 liposome vaccine, L-BLP25) in patients with advanced, inoperable breast cancer. The study, which will enroll 900 patients at around 180 sites in more than 30 countries, will determine whether the vaccine can extend the survival in patients treated with hormonal therapy who have locally advanced, recurrent, hormone receptor-positive or metastatic breast cancer while also preventing progression.

“Advanced-stage breast cancer remains an ultimately fatal and challenging disease, and we urgently need new treatment options,” principal investigator Lawrence Shulman said in a statement. Shulman is chief medical officer and SVP medical affairs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Merck KGaA, based in Darmstadt, Germany, is distinct from Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck & Co.

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