Step aside AstraZeneca, Pfizer/Merck KGaA jump ahead, getting a speedy review for their checkpoint rival avelumab
Now it’s Pfizer’s turn to jump into the hotly contested checkpoint market.
The pharma giant and its partner Merck KGaA say that the FDA has accepted their first BLA for avelumab, with regulators promising a speedy review for this latest checkpoint inhibitor — likely relegating AstraZeneca to an embarrassing fifth place finish for its laggard.
Pfizer and the German Merck will be taking a shot at first mover advantage in metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma, where investigators have tracked positive data in the JAVELIN Merkel 200 study. The drug is currently in 30 clinical programs as the two players look to wedge their way into a multibillion-dollar market for drugs that are gaining wide use in treating cancer.
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