Merck KGaA and Oncothyreon Resume Stimuvax Trial

Merck KGaA, in collaboration with Oncothyreon, has recommenced the trial of the experimental cancer drug Stimuvax, giving way to expectation that the vaccine can effectively treat lung cancer in patients.

The resumption has appeared after the Food and Drug Authority removed the halt orders from the Phase III trial of the drug on Monday.

The trial called START is to be conducted on larger cancer cells. The two companies have also commenced with another study called INSPIRE, aiming to treat the lung cancer patients in Asia.

However, the Phase III study of the breast cancer drug has been halted, for now.

The trials of all the drugs produced by the duo had been paused on March 23, following the incident where a patient suffered a contraction in encephalitis.

Following the revelations of the incident, Oncothyreon's stocks tumbled by 27% and have not been able to rise much till date.

"It is good news for Merck that the FDA has given the go-ahead to continue the trials in lung cancer", said WestLB Analyst Cornelia Thomas.

He added that such vaccines, which undertake use of therapies, usually carry a number of risks.