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Keytruda overtakes Opdivo to lead sales in global immune checkpoint inhibitor market, report reveals

MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) overtook Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMS) blockbuster drug Opdivo (nivolumab) in total sales in the third quarter of 2019 to emerge as leader in the global immune checkpoint inhibitor market, according to a new report from GlobalData.

According to the findings, MSD’s drug saw a 62% growth in revenue compared to Q3 2018 to reach $3.1 million. Over the same period, Opdivo experienced sales growth of just 1%, generating $1.8 million

Bayer and MSD's chronic heart failure drug meets main goal at Phase 3

MSD and Bayer have made it known that their jointly-developed soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator vericiguat met its primary endpoint as a therapy to treat patients experiencing worsening chronic heart failure.

Phase 3 data from the VICTORIA study revealed that the pair’s therapy, when combined with available heart failure therapies, successfully reduced the risk of hospitalisation or cardiovascular death as a result of chronic heart failure compared to placebo in patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).

MSD's proposed sale of French manufacturing plant puts over 200 jobs in jeopardy

MSD has announced its plans to put its Centre de Mirabel production facility in Riom, France up for sale – a move that will see the company axe more than 200 staff as part of its $1.2 billion reorganisation of its manufacturing operations to “further optimise the company’s manufacturing and supply network, as well as reduce its global real estate footprint”.

The sale will terminate 101 positions in production and 106 in R&D, a considerable portion of the 584 total active roles at the facility, which predominantly deals with the production and packaging of sterile antibiotic inj

MSD secures EU approval for its Zaire Ebola vaccine Ervebo

MSD has scored approval from the European Commission for Ervebo, the company’s Zaire Ebola vaccine, for the prevention of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in patients at least 18 years old, it has emerged.              

The decision follows a positive recommendation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA)’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) in October. The vaccine is currently under review in the US under the FDA’s priority review pathway, with a final decision due by 14 March 2020.

MSD's Keytruda approved for first-line lung cancer use on NHS Scotland

MSD and lung cancer patients will be celebrating the news that the pharma giant’s immunotherapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has been accepted by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The decision means that Keytruda becomes the first drug approved in Scotland in the first-line treatment of this indication; patients will be able to access the drug on the NHS, but only those whose tumours express programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) with a

Keytruda scores EU approval in combination with Inlyta for first-line advanced renal cell carcinoma

The European Commission has awarded yet another authorisation in the region to MSD’s Keytruda, this time in combination with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor Inlyta (axitinib) in the first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The ruling was made on the back of Phase 3 data confirming that the combination of Keytruda and Inlyta reduced the risk of death by 47% in RCC patients compared to Pfizer’s Sutent (sunitinib), while also presenting benefit in both progression-free survival and objective response rate.

FDA warns three Hepatitis C drugs may worsen liver function in some rare cases

The FDA has warned that three Hepatitis C (HCV) drugs made by AbbVie, Gilead and MSD are worsening liver function and causing liver failure in some patients.

The US regulator said it has identified 63 cases in which HCV drugs Mavyret, Zepatier, and Vosevi were worsening liver function in patients with symptoms of moderate-to-severe liver impairment and other serious liver problems.

HHS to fund production of MSD's Ebola vaccine V920

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has said it will fund the production of MSD’s investigational Ebola vaccine V920 in response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

At least 1,900 have died from Ebola over the past year in the DRC, as the central African country experiences the second worst Ebola outbreak in history after the outbreak in West Africa in 2014-16 that killed 11,300.

Lynparza extends progression-free survival in first-line advanced ovarian cancer, with or without BRCA mutations

New Phase 3 data has emerged on AstraZeneca and MSD’s Lynparza (olaparib), showing that the PARP inhibitor achieved its primary endpoint in the first-line maintenance of advanced ovarian cancer in patients with or without BRCA mutations when added to standard-of-care bevacizumab, compared to bevacizumab alone.

The companies declared that the drug combo was found to produce a £statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS)”, marking the second positive set of results for Lynparza in first-line ovarian cancer.

MSD teams up with Harvard University to discover novel immune system pathways to fight cancer

A new partnership between MSD and Harvard University hopes to combine the expertise of both parties to carve a path forward in the identification of new treatment pathways to treat cancer with immune-oncology therapies.

The collaboration will run for up to four years, supplying the necessary funding for efforts to uncover novel targets within the immune system for future cancer treatments.

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