Can­cer pow­er­house Roche el­bows its way in­to a check­point show­down with Bris­tol-My­ers, Mer­ck

Watch out Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb. Roche is com­ing for some of your em­bat­tled lung can­cer busi­ness.

The FDA wast­ed no time in stamp­ing Roche’s up-and-com­ing PD-L1 check­point drug Tecen­triq ap­proved for use in the sec­ond-line pa­tient group in non-small cell lung can­cer. Genen­tech in­ves­ti­ga­tors had nailed down a 4.2-month me­di­an im­prove­ment in over­all sur­vival for the ther­a­py.

The ap­proval sets up a three-way fight for the big lung can­cer mar­ket, with Mer­ck’s Keytru­da now giv­en a sol­id edge af­ter Bris­tol-My­ers’ Op­di­vo was rout­ed in a failed at­tempt to demon­strate ef­fi­ca­cy in a broad group of front­line pa­tients.

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