Mer­ck­'s Keytru­da takes home ad­ju­vant win in melanoma, es­ca­lat­ing ear­ly-line fight with Bris­tol My­ers

With im­mune check­point in­hibitors quick­ly emerg­ing as stan­dard of care across a broad range of ad­vanced can­cers, the biggest drug­mak­ers in the race are mak­ing a hard push in­to ear­li­er lines of ther­a­py to gain an edge. The biggest dog in the fight, Mer­ck, now has da­ta that could spell a quick ap­proval and sales bump.

Keytru­da beat out place­bo in staving off the re­cur­rence of can­cer as an ad­ju­vant ther­a­py in pa­tients with high-risk stage II melanoma af­ter surgery to re­move their tu­mors, ac­cord­ing to topline da­ta from the KEYNOTE-716 study re­leased Thurs­day.

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