Johnson & Johnson has bought into Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Factor XIa inhibitor program. The deal gives J&J a stake in the development and potential commercialization of anticoagulants including phase 2-ready secondary stroke candidate BMS-986177.
One-fifth of patients in a phase 1 study responded to an investigational ERK inhibitor from Merck, bolstering hopes that this type of drug could be used effectively in combination with other cancer drugs. ERK is a cell signal that is believed to drive the growth of many cancers.
Genentech’s PD-L1 inhibitor Tecentriq continues to show off its versatility. Monday, the Roche subsidiary announced a combination of Tecentriq and Avastin (bevacizumab) was significantly beneficial to patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) who have not received prior systemic active or experimental therapy.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of advanced malignancies. By blocking T-cell inhibition these drugs result in immune targeting of tumor cells and normal tissue. As such, their main toxicity is inducing immune-mediated tissue damage.
AstraZeneca AZN and partner Merck MRK announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has granted approval to its PARP inhibitor, Lynparza, as a maintenance therapy for relapsed ovarian cancer, irrespective of BRCA mutation status in patients who have responded to their last platinum-based chemotherapy.
After an R&D drought that lasted more than a decade, Merck KGaA may be coming out of the desert. Following two recent drug approvals, including the landmark FDA OK for checkpoint inhibitor Bavencio, the German Merck is now entering an R&D collaboration that might help fill its pipeline with new cancer drug contenders.
AstraZeneca still enjoys the perks of being first to market with its PARP inhibitor. Lynparza (olaparib) sales were $81 million from July to September, whereas net revenues were $16.8 million and $39.4 million for Clovis Oncology Inc.'s Rubraca (rucaparib) and Tesaro Inc.'s Zejula (niraparib), respectively.
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