Mer­ck’s Keytru­da com­bo wows again, ac­ing PhI­II over­all sur­vival goal for lung can­cer ear­ly

Mer­ck’s Keytru­da team can chalk up an­oth­er big win in the race for PD-1/L1 dom­i­nance.

Their check­point in­hibitor added to chemo in a piv­otal study de­liv­ered “sig­nif­i­cant” ben­e­fits in over­all sur­vival as well as pro­gres­sion-free sur­vival among front­line non-small cell lung can­cer pa­tients — one of the big prizes in the ri­val­ry over a mega-block­buster mar­ket.

They are de­clar­ing this suc­cess at an ear­ly, in­ter­im point —well ahead of ex­pec­ta­tions. The fi­nal OS read­out wasn’t ex­pect­ed un­til ear­ly next year. The new re­sults come just a few months af­ter Mer­ck rat­tled in­vestors with its de­ci­sion to yank a Eu­ro­pean ap­pli­ca­tion for Keytru­da for front­line use in the face of reg­u­la­to­ry re­sis­tance to the Phase II da­ta that were be­ing of­fered.

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