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Merck’s Blockbuster Keytruda Plus Chemotherapy Demonstrates Improvement In Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

Merck & Co., Inc.  (MRK) is a global healthcare solutions provider that has been working towards bringing forward medicine and vaccines for some the of the world’s most challenging diseases for more than a century.  They are committed to increasing health care access and continue to be at the leading edge of research. Merck has the industry’s largest immuno-oncology clinical research program.

Merck’s blockbuster drug Keytruda (Pembrolizumab) is currently used for the treatment of lung, head & neck, & melanoma cancer plus a few others have seen sales grow from  $55M in 2014 to $7.2B in 2018 which represents an amazing average annual growth rate of 334%.

Recently, Keytruda plus chemotherapy was reported to have demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in pathological complete response rate as neoadjuvant therapy in patients with triple-negative breast cancer, according to new data from a phase 3 study. ~15%-20% of patients with breast cancer are diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer.

“These findings from this innovatively designed trial with Keytruda mark the first time an anti-PD-1 therapy plus chemotherapy has demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in pathological complete response rate as a neoadjuvant, or pre-surgical, segment of treatment for triple-negative breast cancer,” Roger M. Perlmutter, MD, PhD, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said in a statement. “TNBC is an aggressive malignancy with a high rate of recurrence within the first 5 years of diagnosis. We are encouraged by these results and plan to discuss these data with health authorities and to present these findings at an upcoming medical congress.”

According to Merck, the trial will continue without changes to evaluate the other dual-primary endpoint of event-free survival, per the trial design. To learn more about Merck (MRK) and to track its ongoing progress please visit the Vista Partners Merck Coverage Page.

If you found this story interesting then you should visit the Atossa Genetics (ATOS) page at Vista Partners to keep up with their progress and to learn more daily about their work and developments in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. Atossa presented last week at the Rodman & Renshaw Conference in NYC and published their updated presentation that included their near term milestones on page 23. It includes a milestone regarding their Oral Endoxifen Phase 1 trial where they expect to reveal their “results from Phase 1 study of the new modified-release tablet” this month (September 2019.)

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(Read Original Story: Keytruda Plus Chemo Shows High Response Rate in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Pharmacy Times)


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