FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Merck KGaA said that its immunotherapy Bavencio, jointly developed with Pfizer, delayed the progression of kidney cancer when used in combination with Pfizer’s Inlyta drug in a late-stage study.

The drug combination led to longer progression-free survival in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) when compared with a control group on older Pfizer drug Sutent, the German drugmaker said in a statement on Tuesday.

The trial will continue to show whether Bavencio plus Inlyta also prolongs patients’ lives.

While the company said the benefit was statistically significant, they did not specify the duration of progression-free survival. A detailed analysis would be submitted for presentation at a medical congress, it added.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan)