Merck scores first US PD-1 approval

Share this article:
Merck scores first US PD-1 approval
Merck scores first US PD-1 approval

Merck is first to cross the US regulatory finish line for PD-1 inhibitors. The FDA approved the drug previously known as pembrolizumab, now known as Keytruda, for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma who have already taken Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy (ipilimumab).

The FDA says melanoma accounts for around 5% of all new cancers diagnosed in the US. Merck's new drug is the sixth new melanoma treatment the regulator has approved since 2011, but this approval is a breakout for a drug class that has become a magnet for industry watchers. Multiple manufacturers are banking on immuno-oncology treatments, including AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers and Roche.

The Street's Adam Feuerstein tweeted that a Merck spokesperson priced the new drug at $12,500 a month. A typical treatment will last 6.2 months.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

This compelling e-book shares a wealth of insights designed to help members of sales forces connect with elusive HCPs. An expanded version has also been created that includes video interviews and other multimedia content. Click here for access.