The stock of Seattle biotechnology company Oncothyreon sank 48 cents, or 17.3 percent, to $2.30 Tuesday after it said that its experiment cancer therapy, tecemotide, failed in a clinical study in Japan to improve overall survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

Wedbush analysts expect Oncothyreon partner Merck to discontinue the tecemotide program because of the lack of clinical benefit. Tecemotide was designed to work by stimulating the body’s immune system so that it could identify and destroy cancer cells.