Categories LATEST, Other Industries

Merck sets the bar high for rivals with positive Keytruda trial results

Merck (MRK) shares rose as much as 7% after the company stated that one of its key drugs successfully met its goal in a late-stage clinical trial. Merck is hell-bent on becoming a major player in the lucrative immune-oncology space as its blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda met its goal of extending the lifespan of cancer patients.

Courtesy - Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy – Wikimedia Commons

The drug was hitherto known to benefit only patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have not received prior treatment as well as those with tumors with higher levels of PD-L1 protein. But the latest clinical report suggests that Keytruda treats even those with the protein expression lower than 50.

Touted as a game-changer therapy in oncology, Keytruda witnessed a strong demand in patients with advanced melanoma, first-line lung cancer, as well as head-and-neck cancer. The drug – launched in nearly 50 international markets—has received widespread approval as an effective therapy.

With this latest update, Merck has expanded its market and has set a high bar for its rivals including Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Swedish biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Plc (AZN).

Credit Suisse expects Merck’s blockbuster drug to generate over $10 billion in sales by 2023.

Meanwhile, Incyte (INCY) shares traded in red after the company stated that it’s closely watched drug epacadostat failed to boost the effectiveness of Keytruda when the two were combined to treat those who were newly diagnosed with cancer.

Merck has been, over the years, increasing its dependence on cancer portfolio for growth. During the fourth quarter of 2017, Keytruda’s revenue rose to $1.3 billion from a mere $484 million a year ago.

Most Popular

Context Therapeutics: Another clinical-stage oncology research firm to go public soon

The US primary markets seem to be having a record-breaking start to the year, with over $171 billion raised in the first half of 2021 compared to $168 billion for

Biogen (BIIB) Stock: Does FDA nod for Aduhelm offer a buying opportunity?

The pharmaceutical industry has been witnessing hectic activity for some time, with most drug makers either channelizing their resources for vaccine development or engaging in COVID care programs. Biotechnology giant

IPO News: Monte Rosa Therapeutics will go public this week, here are a few things to know

Biotechnology company Monte Rosa Therapeutics is slated to go public this week. In a pandemic-ridden world, this industry is expanding at a healthy pace. The global biotechnology market is estimated


Add Comment
Viewing Highlight