CHMP Opinions: Opdivo Sees Keytruda's Hodgkin's And Raises It Head & Neck
Merck & Co and Bristol Myers Squibb's rival anti-PD1 products continue their game of one-upmanship with each gaining a new indication in the latest round of EU CHMP opinions.
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The European Commission has approved Johnson & Johnson’s/Genmab’s CD38-targeted MAb, daratumumab, and Merck & Co’s checkpoint inhibitor, pembrolizumab, in two first-line additional indications, in multiple myeloma and head and neck cancer, respectively.
The US FDA approval of Keytruda in its first hematologic cancer indication will put Merck & Co in a position to compete with Bristol-Myers Squibb, whose own checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo gained a similar, but not identical, marketing approval in classical Hodgkin lymphoma last year.
Things couldn't have gone any worse for Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo in the CheckMate 026 lung cancer data presented at ESMO. Without even a trend towards efficacy in patients with high levels of PD-L1 expression, imminent erosion of market share by Merck's Keytruda seems inevitable.