Pfizer Takes Step Back With Avelumab, Step Forward On CAR-T
Major changes to Phase III Lung 100 study of PD-L1 inhibitor avelumab mean a big delay for development in first-line lung cancer, but, separately, Pfizer advances in allogeneic CAR-T therapy with partners Servier and Cellectis.
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The Merkel cell carcinoma area is very niche but getting approval means that Merck and Pfizer can now prepare to compete with the likes of Opdivo and Keytruda in the European PD-1/PD-L1 space.
The highly-competitive PD-1 field in Europe is very likely to have a new player as Bavencio gets a CHMP recommendation for Merkel cell carcinoma, but the success of Merck KGaA and Pfizer's checkpoint inhibitor will be gauged on how it competes with the competition already on the market in wider, more valuable indications.
President-Pfizer Oncology Liz Barrett said the company remains committed to demonstrating the value of Bavencio in first-line lung cancer despite a recent setback that will push data out to 2019.