Merck Drives Into Immunotherapy “Wild West” With New Trials
Company moves fast to test pembrolizumab in head and neck cancer, among other new frontier tumor types. The firm has reorganized its oncology business to prepare for launch in melanoma, which will be a critical test of the company’s ambitions to become a cancer powerhouse.
You may also be interested in...
While still behind Merck’s pembrolizumab, Bristol could see back-to-back approvals in lung cancer and melanoma in early 2015.
Bristol’s combo demonstrates similar response rate as PD-1 alone, but with much better survival rates in a small melanoma study presented at ASCO. Due to toxicities, including one death, some say combination would need to shore up survival benefit to become first choice in frontline therapy.
Rolling BLA for MK-3475 accepted for priority review with a PDUFA date of Oct. 28. Merck is undertaking or plans trials testing the anti-PD-1 candidate in 10 types of cancer and is seeking response signals in another 20 tumor types.