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MSD's Keytruda/chemo combo scores first-line FDA approval in NSC lung cancer

MSD’s blockbuster anti-PD-1 immunotherapy has secured another FDA approval, it has emerged, in combination with carboplatin and either paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The US regulator’s decision was based on Phase 3 data which demonstrated significant overall survival benefit of Keytruda regardless of the tumour PD-L1 expression status of a patient, with it found to reduce the risk of death by 36% compared to chemotherapy alone.

First-line Keytruda shows better overall survival in head & neck cancer

MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) made an impact at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2018 Congress as the company unveiled new Phase 3 data into its efficacy in the first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), revealing it met its primary endpoint.

In patients whose tumours expressed PD-L1 with a combined positive score (CPS) of at least 20, the findings demonstrated that, when used as a monotherapy, Keytruda improved overall survival (OS) rates by 39% compared to the EXTREME regimen of Merck KGaA’s Erbitux (cetuximab) plus ci

MSD's Keytruda with Pfizer's Inlyta beats Sutent in most common kidney cancer

MSD has unveiled new Phase 3 data on its blockbuster anti-PD-1 cancer therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) as part of a combination, this time with Pfizer’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor Inlyta (axitinib) as a first-line treatment for the most common kidney cancer, advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), showing that the combo met both its primary endpoints.

The data revealed, according to an interim analysis by the independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC), that the Keytruda/Inlyta  combo demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in ov

MSD and Samsung Bioepis terminate development of Lantus biosimilar for diabetes

MSD has reportedly terminated a previous agreement with Samsung Bioepis which would have seen them collaborate on a biosimilar version of Sanofi’s Lantus (insulin glargine) for diabetes.

The deal, which was reached in February 2014 as an expansion of an existing agreement, concerned the development, manufacture and commercialisation of MK-1293, or Lusduna Nexvue.

MSD signs $117m deal with Samsung Bioepis over Janssen biosimilar

American multinational MSD have won a $117 million contract allowing them to supply Samsung Bioepis’ Renflexis to the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

The deal between the multibillion dollar pharma firm MSD, and the Samsung Biologics and Biogen Idec joint-venture Samsung Bioepis, will see MSD supply Renflexis, a biosimilar of Janssen’s Remicade (Infliximab) to the US federal agency that provides healthcare services to military veterans.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Chief resigns from MSD board

Dr Craig Thompson, Chief Executive of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), the renowned non-profit treatment and research institution based in New York City, has announced he will resign from the boards of MSD and another industry firm, bringing the former’s board down to 12 directors.

Dr Thompson had served the pharma company as a board member since 2008, and took home $300,000 in compensation for his service in 2017.

Kenneth Frazier to continue as CEO as MSD rescinds mandatory retirement policy

MSD has pitched a curveball with the news that the company has rescinded its policy mandating that Chief Executive Officers retire at the age of 65, meaning current CEO Kenneth Frazier, who turns exactly that age late next year, will continue to steer the firm for the foreseeable future.

Frazier joined MSD in 1999 as Chief Counsel, and will celebrate his 20th anniversary with the company next year.

MSD to launch Keytruda at half US list price in China

US pharma giant MSD will offer cutting edge cancer treatment Keytruda to Chinese patients at half the price at what it is sold for in the United States, according to the Beijing-based news organisation Caixin Global.

Keytruda, which was approved in China in July of this year, will cost 17,918 yuan (£1,981) for a 100mg/ 4ml dose when it is introduced to the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market later this year.

Pfizer, Novartis, MSD, Novo and GSK halt operations in wake of Hurricane Florence

Image Credit: NASA

As Hurricane Florence begins to breach the Southeast Coast, major pharma firms have announced they are enacting contingency plans, including  shutting down operations at their manufacturing sites across North Carolina and the relocation of drug products in affected areas.

The coming storm, which is set to hit both North and South Carolina as well as Virginia, has been downgraded to a Category 1 from an expected 3 or 4 at landfall, but is still expected to cause enough rainfall to lead to “catastrophic flooding” across the region, with an average forecasted rainfall of over 20 i

Keytruda scores ground-breaking European approval in lung cancer subgroup

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has chalked up yet another approval for MSD, this time in Europe in combination with permextred and platinum-based chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults with no EGFR or ALK positive mutations, making it the only immunotherapy licensed for use with chemo in the condition within Europe.

The European Commission authorised the drug combo based on data derived from a trial examining its use in patients with no, low and high expression of the biomarker PD-L1, which showed that Keytruda &nb

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