New Melanoma Frontier Opens To Bristol's Opdivo And Novartis/Glaxo's BRAF/MEK Combo
Bristol's Opdivo and Novartis/GlaxoSmithKline's Tafinlar/Mekinist combo both performed well in early, post-surgical treatment of advanced melanoma in trials reported at ESMO, promising yet another revolution in the standard of care, but leaving Roche's Zelboraf/Cotellic in the dust.
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New FDA labeling brings Tafinlar/Mekinist into adjuvant melanoma setting, but Bristol's competing Opdivo already has captured nearly 50% of the market and is approved regardless of genetic mutation.
Phase I/II data from Opdivo/Yervoy combination in SCLC provide more evidence that tumor mutation burden is emerging as a biomarker for immunotherapy, but commercial value is unclear and results don't have implications for the all-important CheckMate 227 non-small cell lung cancer trial, analysts say.
Merck has launched Keytruda at an “India-specific” price but some experts say that the immuno-oncology therapy will likely still be beyond the reach of a majority of patients. Merck though also expects to offer a patient access program for those who can’t afford the therapy.