ZURICH (Reuters) -Novartis said on Monday its canakinumab drug to help treat non-small cell lung cancer failed a phase III trial, the latest blow for the treatment which also fell short in a study last year.
The drug, used as an adjuvant treatment, did not meet its primary endpoint of disease-free survival, the Swiss company said.
Adjuvant treatments are additional cancer treatments after the primary one intended to lower the risk the cancer will return.
The failure in the latest trial, called Canopy A, is a setback for Novartis after canakinumab failed in a separate study last year where it was tried in combination with another drug and chemotherapy.
"Consensus expectations for this high-risk project remained zero or low with the remaining market exclusivity for canakinumab limited until 2028," said Zuercher Kantonalbank analyst Laurent Flamme.
He estimated annual sales of around 300 million Swiss francs ($317.9 million)by 2026 for the drug as an adjuvant treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.
($1 = 0.9436 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)