Eli Lil­ly, Mer­ck add new com­bo al­liance; Gilead re­al­ly does want to fo­cus on M&A

• Eli Lil­ly is tak­ing its new­ly ap­proved can­cer drug Lartru­vo and com­bin­ing it with Keytru­da in an ex­pand­ed col­lab­o­ra­tion deal with Mer­ck. This deal is the lat­est in dozens of pacts Mer­ck inked for Keytru­da, which has broad po­ten­tial for com­bo ap­proach­es. Lartru­vo won ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval last fall.

• In an in­ter­view with CN­BC’s Meg Tir­rell, Gilead CEO John Mil­li­gan says that M&A is now “top of mind” for the big biotech, which has just ex­pe­ri­enced a se­ries of painful set­backs in the clin­ic. An­a­lysts have been urg­ing Gilead for the past two years to ex­e­cute a big buy­out, but so far noth­ing like that has ma­te­ri­al­ized.

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