Merck releases early PD-1 melanoma data

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Merck's Phase Ib pipeline melanoma drug lambrolizumab shows that 81% of advanced melanoma patients survived for one year, across all doses. The company announced the data at the Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research in Philadelphia Monday.

The early data is a toehold of sorts in a PD-1 competition: PMLive notes that BMS has the Phase III PD-1 contender nivolumab, and Roche and  AstraZeneca also have anti-PD-1 drugs in the mix.

The class is considered a potential force across several indications, including melanoma and non-small lung cancer.

Monday's data correlates closely with Merck's increased focus on a smaller portfolio which will include vaccines, oncology, diabetes and acute care.

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