Mer­ck­'s top can­cer team basks in the warm light of pos­i­tive Keytru­da da­ta from a land­mark study for hard-to-treat breast can­cer

BARCELONA — While Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb ex­ecs spent much of the week­end in Barcelona try­ing to ex­plain the more pos­i­tive as­pects of re­cent da­ta on Op­di­vo, the dom­i­nant de­vel­op­ment team over at Mer­ck was ac­cept­ing a fresh round of ku­dos for an­oth­er land­mark first in­volv­ing their lead­ing PD-1 Keytru­da.

The Mer­ck team was on hand to spot­light a sharp in­crease in the num­ber of pa­tients who gained a patho­log­i­cal com­plete re­sponse (pCR) for high-risk, ear­ly-stage triple neg­a­tive breast can­cer us­ing a neoad­ju­vant reg­i­men of Keytru­da plus chemo fol­lowed by ad­ju­vant Keytru­da monother­a­py — com­pared to neoad­ju­vant chemo fol­lowed by ad­ju­vant place­bo. The re­searchers scored the da­ta from KEYNOTE-522 at 51.2% for the con­trol arm com­pared to 64.8% for the Keytru­da-plus arm.

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