That $95M Merck gamble to acquire cCAM? It didn’t pay off.
When Merck $MRK acquired cCAM Biotherapeutics in Israel in the summer of 2015, R&D chief Roger Perlmutter and his crew were intrigued by the potential of its lead drug, CM-24, in targeting the immune checkpoint protein CEACAM1. The drug, in Phase I, offered an opportunity for a range of cancers where the pharma giant has been closely focused.
In Perlmutter’s words, the drug hit a sweet spot for the developer of Keytruda: “stimulating tumor-directed immune responses.”
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