In an interview with Reuters, Belén Garijo, head of the company's pharma unit Merck Serono, outlined a strategy for Erbitux centered on the KRAS mutation-free subgroup, which accounts for about 60% of all cases.
The Cranbury, NJ-based biotech says they will focus on knockoffs of Humira, Rituxan, Avastin, Herceptin and Erbitux.
Three years after Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly settled a nasty legal scrap over the rights to necitumumab--a cancer drug initially pursued by ImClone and pushed ahead into late-stage tests--BMS has dumped its rights to the troubled program.
Merck KGaA is already seeing the payoff from cost cuts. The German drugmaker beat expectations on third-quarter earnings, thanks in part to lower costs. Higher drug prices helped, too. In fact, the company raised its outlook for the year because of increased demand for its drugs, Bloomberg reports.
Drug companies are offering to take a haircut this year on what Greek hospitals owe them if the government will pay the debt and stop its healthcare facilities from running up more unpaid drug bills.
Merck KGaA has hit another obstacle on its path to expanding Erbitux sales. The German drugmaker pulled its marketing application for a non-small cell lung cancer use in Europe--for the second time.
Danish biotech Symphogen picked up a major league pharma partner today along with an injection of fresh cash. Merck KGaA snagged Symphogen's second program--an anti-EGFR "mixed" antibody now in Phase II--with a €20 million ($25 million) upfront payment and promises of up to €475 million ($600 million) more in development and commercial milestones.
When U.K. doctors request special funding for cancer drugs, which product do they request most often? That would be Roche's ($RHHBY) Avastin, hands down. Of the more than 10,000 petitions to the cancer drugs fund from April 2011 to March 2012, almost 25% were for Avastin.
Though Zaltrap isn't expected to be a blockbuster, Sanofi's approval bolsters the Paris-based pharma giant's mission to usher new drugs to market as its major sellers such as the blood thinner Plavix face generic drug competition.
The FDA has approved Qiagen's genetic biomarker-based therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR Kit. This can pick out the metastatic colon cancer patients who are most likely to respond to Erbitux (cetuximab), and this test will be launched by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly.