Merck Defends Its Offensive Strategy For Keytruda
Merck reports $314m for PD-1 inhibitor Keytruda in second quarter, mostly from melanoma indication, leaving it far behind Bristol's Opdivo. Pressed about its competitive strategy, company execs touted first-to-market advantage in first-line lung cancer and a "wall of data" that will protect in the future.
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Facing analysts jittery about the prospects for Opdivo/Yervoy in first-line lung cancer, Bristol boasts breadth of Phase III lung program, including IO/chemo studies, and variety of tumor types targeted.
Merck's Keytruda gains huge advantage in first-line lung cancer as Bristol's stumble in patients with lower expression of PD-L-1 biomarker raises questions about cut-off levels in trials.
Failure of Bristol's Opdivo in patients with lower expression of PD-L-1 biomarker gives Merck's Keytruda a huge advantage in first-line lung cancer, and leaves market-leading Bristol to wait for combination data.