A Whopper Of A Deal: AZ Hands Half Of Lynparza To Merck
AstraZeneca agreed to partner two important oncology assets – Lynparza and selumetinib – with Merck after disappointing Imfinzi MYSTIC data. Merck will pay $1.6bn up front to get its hands on a PARP inhibitor, even though it previously owned one.
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Koselugo (selumetinib) was largely forgotten after failing Phase III trials in thyroid and lung cancer, as well as uveal melanoma, but its approval in Europe for inoperable plexiform neurofibromas in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1, which follows a US approval for the rare condition last year, has breathed new life into the once-lauded MEK 1/2 inhibitor.
Merck Research Laboratories president Roger Perlmutter returned to the company when its R&D was at a crossroads. Now he is retiring and handing the company’s post-Keytruda growth over to SVP Dean Li.
The company stopped the Phase III ADAURA study for Tagrisso early due to overwhelming efficacy and the US FDA approved selumetinib in a rare pediatric disease.