Commercial Fallout From Merck's Failed Keytruda Gastric Cancer Trial May Be Limited
Merck's KEYNOTE-061 gastric cancer study is the latest example of a checkpoint inhibitor failing in Phase III after accelerated approval.
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Results presented as ASCO from the mixed KEYNOTE-062 study suggest a place for pembrolizumab in first-line gastric cancer but data from other ongoing trials will be needed to support filings amid looming competition from Opdivo.
Delegates at this year’s ASCO meeting in Chicago will hear late-breaking clinical data for a number of studies from AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, Astellas, Merck & Co and Seattle Genetics which are set to shake up their respective markets. There will also be more clarity on where Lilly’s Lartruvo went so wrong.
An improvement in overall survival seen in the Phase III TAGS study and a unique mechanism of action augurs well for Taiho/Servier's Lonsurf gaining gastric cancer as an additional indication, but future competitive pressures are likely to be intense in this therapeutic sector.