Oncothyreon's cancer vaccine trial starts in Asia

SEATTLE — Oncothyreon Inc. announced Dec. 10 that its development partner Merck KGaA started a late-stage trial of its cancer vaccine in patients in Asia with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Stimuvax is an investigational therapeutic cancer vaccine being developed by Merck under a license agreement with Oncothyreon.

Stimuvax is designed to stimulate the body's immune system to identify and target cancer cells that express MUC1, an antigen commonly expressed in NSCLC as well as in other common cancer types such as breast cancer, multiple myeloma, and colorectal, prostate and ovarian cancers.

The trial is expected to enroll approximately 420 patients in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.