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US court upholds verdict voiding MSD's claim to $200m from Gilead in patent dispute

MSD has taken a legal hit after a US appeals court upheld a ruling that the pharma giant had illicitly obtained patent rights for the treatment of hepatitis C, voiding its claim to an infringement verdict against Gilead to the tune of $200 million.

The May 2018 issue of Pharmafocus is now live!

Just in time for the first good weather of the year, the May 2018 edition of Pharmafocus is available to read online now!

Keytruda success continues, beating Opdivo in lung cancer survival

Not content with revealing two strong waves of data on its flagship immunotherapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) over the past weeks, MSD is once again flexing its product’s muscles, this time unveiling that the anti-PD-1 drug has excelled in combination with chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Keytruda continues success with new Phase 3 data in adjuvant melanoma

MSD has revealed new efficacy data for Keytruda (permbrolizumab) as an adjuvant therapy in the treatment of resected, high-risk stage III melanoma. It is the third such reveal in weeks, following the drug’s success as a monotherapy in NSCLC with any PD-L1 expression but failure as a combo therapy in unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

Keytruda scores big as a first-line monotherapy in NSCLC patients with any level of PD-L1 expression

Closely following the news that Keytruda (pembrolizumab) had failed in the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma as a combination therapy with Incyte’s epacadostat, MSD announced that its blockbuster immunotherapy drug hit its primary endpoint as a monotherapy in the first-line treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients expressing any level of PD-L1.

Keytruda combo fails at Phase 3 in metastatic melanoma

Shares in biopharma firm Incyte were sent reeling by as much as 20% when the company announced that the results of a Phase 3 study had revealed that its IDO1 inhibitor epacadostat, when applied in combination with MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab), failed to meet its primary endpoint of improving progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma compared to Keytruda alone.

Top Ten most popular articles on this week

As we approach the Easter weekend, we at Pharmafocus hope all of our readers have a great long weekend, if you're lucky enough to benefit from one. That also means that this week's Top Ten comes a little earlier than usual.

Working Life: Chris Round, Head of EMEA Region, Merck KGaA

Published on 19/03/18 at 10:49am

Merck KGaA's Chris Round, Head of EMEA Region, spoke with to discuss his time at both the US and German firms which bear the name Merck, his successes, leadership strategies and more.

Could you provide a background as to how you arrived in the pharmaceutical industry?

NICE recommends Keytruda via CDF as first and only urothelial carcinoma immunotherapy

UK drugs watchdog NICE has published its finance guidance recommending the use of MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) on the NHS through the Cancer Drugs Fund for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma in adults who have had platinum-containing chemotherapy. The decision makes the drug the first and only immunotherapy to be approved for use on the health service by the agency.

Ontruzant launches to become first Herceptin biosimilar available in the UK

Ontruzant, the biosimilar version of Herceptin (trastuzumab ) originally developed by Korean firm Samsung Bioepis, has launched for patients in the UK, becoming the first biologic copycat version of Roche’s blockbuster to be available in the region.

MSD, better known as Merck across the Atlantic, is handling marketing as part of a global biosimilars development and commercialisation agreement with Samsung Bioepis.

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