Merck Confident In Keytruda’s Dominance In Lung Cancer, Despite Competitors’ Data
With Keytruda sales of more than $3bn during Q3 and roughly 80% market share in lung cancer, Merck indicates little worry about recent data readouts for BMS and AstraZeneca in NSCLC.
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The company will depend on Keytruda for growth after spinning out some franchises, but executives argued during its Q4 earnings call that there will be much more to Merck than the cancer blockbuster.
The deal worth up to $576m gives Merck what Calporta founding investor Avalon believes is the most advanced program targeting TRPML1, a lysosomal ion channel implicated in neurodegenerative diseases when the lysosome stops clearing debris from cells.
With new Opdivo/Yervoy combination data in first-line lung cancer, the company expects the PD-1 inhibitor’s growth to go from flat to rising in 2021. Bristol’s and Celgene’s third quarter earnings exceeded expectations and their merger is on track to close this year.