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.

Gilead CEO John Milligan

• 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.

• Pierre Fabry has struck a deal to collaborate with Piqur on dermatological formulations of the biotech’s PI3K/mTOR inhibitors, with multiple targets. As part of the deal, Pierre Fabry is gaining an exclusive option on a licensing deal, if the company likes what it sees. The terms were not disclosed.

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