Merck, Incyte map a Phase III pipeline of their own for a frontline combo of Keytruda and epacadostat
Last fall Incyte and Merck whipped up considerable enthusiasm for a match-up of their IDO1 enzyme inhibitor and Keytruda in an early-stage study of melanoma. They followed up with a commitment to expand their partnership to go after a range of cancers. And this morning the partners outlined aggressive plans to take the combo through seven pivotal trials.
Researchers for these two companies got excited about the potential for this combination after seeing progression-free survival rates of 74 percent and 57 percent at 6 months and 12 months among the advanced melanoma patients they treated last year in a Phase I. Their melanoma partnership was expanded to include a Phase III melanoma trial. Now they are pushing ahead in the clinic to see if Incyte’s epacadostat and Keytruda can make a significant difference in frontline use against non-small cell lung cancer, bladder cancer, renal cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
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