Merck announced positive results its blockbuster drug Keytruda: a cocktail of immunotherapy Keytruda and two chemotherapy medicines helped lung cancer patients live longer and stopped the disease from advancing, early results from a study showed.
The results will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting whose date and location were not announced.
The latest results cement Merck’s position as a front-runner in the race to develop drugs that can be used as the initial or first-line treatment for patients with a common type of lung cancer.
The results “will allow for Merck to extend their leadership position in 1st line non-small cell lung cancer where they are already dominating in the 25-30 percent of patients” whose tumors have high levels of PDL1, a protein targeted by the drug, Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan said in a research note.
They also increase the chances of a European regulatory approval, after Merck withdrew an application when regulators asked for more data, several analysts said.