FDA Staff Questions Benefits of GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Inc. Cancer Drugs

Published: Mar 19, 2012

GlaxoSmithKline Plc. (GSK) and Merck & Co. (MRK) and Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARIA)’s drugs for a rare, often deadly form of cancer may not offer enough benefits to be worth risks including heart and kidney ailments, U.S. regulators said. While Votrient from London-based Glaxo kept sarcoma from spreading in soft tissue, it didn’t prolong patients’ lives, Food and Drug Administration staff wrote in a report today. Ridaforolimus, developed by Merck and Ariad, didn’t keep patients alive longer or stop progression of the disease, according to an FDA report.

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