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MSD withdraws European application of Keytruda combo in lung cancer

MSD has been forced to withdraw its EU marketing application for Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with pemetrexed and carboplatin as a first-line treatment for metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), despite the combination already gaining approval in the US back in May this year.

MSD plays catch up with €464m deal for fledgling biotech

MSD has announced that it will acquire Rigontec, a three-year old German biotech, in a deal worth an initial €115 million and with further payments worth up to €349 million. The biotech only recently completed a recent Series A financing round that brought in close to €30 million, making MSD’s buyout a huge success for investors and a show of faith from MSD in the technology behind the company.

MSD’s Keytruda hits rare snag, floundering in confirmatory trial

Since the PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapies have hit the market, they have revolutionised cancer care for many patients yet, with the science not completely understood, there have been some trial results that have surprised everyone. Another shock was revealed as MSD (known as Merck in North America) admitted that Keytruda had failed to hit its primary endpoint in previously treated recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

FDA shutters MSD’s Keytruda combination trials in myeloma

Following on from the news last month that enrolment for Keytruda being used alongside Celgene’s Imnovid and Revlimid would have to be stopped, comes the complete halt called to three trials involving Keytruda.

LifeArc rebrands and sets up £500m research fund

The UK medical research charity formerly known as MRC Technology has rebranded to be known as LifeArc. At the same time, it has announced that it will provide £500 million in funds to support to innovations in antimicrobials, neuroscience, personalised oncology and respiratory medicine.

MSD receives first FDA approval based on specific genetic feature

In a historic first, MSD (known as Merck in North America) has received approval for its immunotherapy treatment Keytruda in patients with a specific genetic feature, otherwise known as a biomarker. This means that patients who have a biomarker known as microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) will be able to receive the treatment.

Asia-Pacific NSCLC market to more than double to $6.2bn by 2023

New research from intelligence provider GBI Research has indicated that the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) market in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is set to grow by more than 100% to be worth $6.2 billion by 2023, up from $3 billion in 2016. The advent of key therapies including BMS’ Yervoy (ipilimumab) and necitumumab, also known as Eli Lilly’s Portrazza is given as primary drivers of this growth.

MSD’s Keytruda notches another FDA approval in Hodgkin lymphoma

MSD, otherwise known as Merck in North America, continues to score indication successes with Keytruda, this time in Hodgkin lymphoma. The particular indication is within patients who are refractory to treatment or who have relapsed after three or more previous attempts at treatment.

Immunotherapy: The three major treatments that are changing cancer prognoses

Published on 13/03/17 at 11:56am

The promise of Immunotherapy as a game-changer for cancer treatment has been evident since its advent in the space. However, 2016 was the year where it really came to the fore. We examine the leading immunotherapies in the market and their development as we move further into 2017.

From the moment of the first indication for a first-line treatment, immunotherapy became the go-to treatment for a select group of patients, and the results it demonstrated were more than encouraging – even if they were only available to specific candidates for treatment.

NICE knocks back MSD's Keytruda for lung cancer indication

MSD’s immunotherapy drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has been knocked back by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of untreated PD-L1-positive metastatic lung cancer.

NICE’s decision was spurred by the “immaturity of the data” provided by MSD, which made it impossible to accurately determine Keytruda’s overall survival benefits compared to current standard of care.

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