Bristol-Myers Squibb's brivanib has failed in a Phase III trial comparing the investigational liver cancer drug with Bayer's Nexavar.

The Phase III BRISK-FL study compared brivanib versus Nexavar (sorafenib) as first-line treatment in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who have not received prior systemic treatment. The trial did not meet its primary overall survival objective, B-MS says it will  present the full findings at an upcoming scientific meeting.

Brian Daniels, head of global development and medical affairs, added that the treatment options for these patients "are limited, and we are disappointed that the primary endpoint was not met". Despite the setback, he added that the firm remains committed to developing medicines for  hepatitis B and C and liver cancer".

Brivanib is an oral, anti-tumorigenic that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor receptor and fibroblast growth factor receptors. B-MS said that ongoing clinical trials of the drug, which include hepatocellular carcinoma as well as other tumour types, "will continue at the present time".