Mer­ck KGaA gets a thumbs up for once-dead MS drug; Aveo shares soar as ti­vo makes a come­back

→  Cladrib­ine is back. Once giv­en up for dead by Mer­ck KGaA, the mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis drug has been en­dorsed by the CHMP in Eu­rope, set­ting up a like­ly ap­proval. Long­time Mer­ck KGaA watch­ers will re­call that Mer­ck killed the pro­gram af­ter the FDA and the EMA quashed in­ad­e­quate ap­pli­ca­tions 6 years ago — an em­bar­rass­ing set­back that trig­gered a ma­jor over­haul of the com­pa­ny’s R&D group. “The pos­i­tive opin­ion from the CHMP is an ex­tra­or­di­nary de­vel­op­ment for Mer­ck, af­firm­ing our be­lief in Cladrib­ine Tablets as a po­ten­tial im­por­tant treat­ment op­tion for pa­tients liv­ing with mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis,” said Belén Gar­i­jo, CEO Health­care and mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive board of Mer­ck. “We now ea­ger­ly await the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion de­ci­sion, and the op­por­tu­ni­ty to make a dif­fer­ence in the MS treat­ment par­a­digm.”

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