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Sanofi and MSD end their joint vaccines partnership

With a new year comes a fresh start, and so it was the case with Sanofi and MSD’s joint vaccine venture, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, which closed its doors and operations on 1 January. The joint operation had been ongoing since 1994 but the two companies decided to integrate the operation into their own facilities in Europe. The decision to close the venture came back in March of 2016.

NICE approves MSD’s Keytruda for new cancer indication

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has announced its recommendation of MSD’s immunotherapy drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who have undergone at least one chemotherapy.

Powerful new data for MSD's bladder cancer drug stops trial early

MSD has released new data which reinforces the efficacy of its anti-PD-1 therapy pembrolizumab in patients with advanced urothelial (bladder) cancer who have previously been treated with platinum-containing chemotherapy after its performance prompted the early termination of its trial.

MSD’s Alzheimer's study could break new ground for treatment

MSD, known as Merck in North America, has published results of a Phase I trial of verubecestat. The drug is designed to inhibit the production of toxic amyloid beta peptide in the brain that leads to the neurodegeneration seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

MSD’s Keytruda given first FDA approval for first line treatment

MSD, known as Merck in the US, has scored a big success in treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with the FDA approving Keytruda for first-line treatment for the first time. This means that Keytruda will be the first treatment for patients with metastatic NSCLC with high-levels of the protein, PD-L1, that is known for suppressing the immune system.

MSD’s Keytruda early success ends trial early

MSD, known as Merck in the US, ended their Phase III trial of Keytruda for treatment of advanced urothelial cancer early having met its primary endpoint, which was to improve overall survival of patients. Keytruda was found to be superior to chemotherapy and the independent Data Monitoring Committee recommended that the trial be stopped early, as a result.

MSD’s antiviral drug hits endpoint targets in Phase III trials

MSD, known as Merck in the US, released news of the successful meeting of its primary endpoints in its Phase III trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of letermovir.

Letermovir is an investigational once-daily treatment that is administered in either an oral tablet or through an IV formulation.  It is a member of a new class of non-nucleoside CMV inhibitors and inhibits viral replication by targeting the viral terminase complex. The drug will be used in the prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in high-risk bone marrow transplant patients.

Failure for BMS' Opdivo in lung cancer trial

Disappointing news for Bristol-Myers Squibb as the company announced that its blockbuster drug Opdivo (nivolumab) failed to meet its primary endpoint in a new trial investigating the drug’s efficacy in significantly prolonging progression-free survival (PFS) versus chemotherapy.

MSD’s Keytruda twice as successful against standard therapy for lung cancer

MSD, known as Merck in North America, released data that displayed the success of their drug, Keytruda, in a 123-patient study. The results displayed that 55% percent of patients saw their tumours reduce in size using a treatment regimen of Keytruda and two chemotherapy drugs. This compares to 29% who used chemotherapy drugs alone. The trial also revealed that those treated with Keytruda also had a longer period before the disease started growing again and had a lower risk of death.

Merck's Keytruda suffers rejection at hands of NICE

NICE rejected Merck’s Keytruda, a treatment for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), on the basis that the drug was not cost efficient. In the submission to NICE, the company assumed that patients would stop using Keytruda at two years if their disease had not gotten worse. NICE’s appraisal committee countered that, in real-life clinical practice, it would be unlikely that any patient who was benefiting from the treatment provided by the drug would willingly stop taking it.

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