Pfizer's partnership with German counterpart Merck KGaA for $850 million upfront, plus as much as $2 billion in milestones, improves the prospects of PD-L1 and PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors in the oncology space, to the excitement of developers of combination therapies to the class of medicines, which feature both biological and mechanical mechanisms.
Next year, Merck KGaA plans to start a biomass heating plant in the U.S. but for now is starting on a project in India that will use cashew and coconut shells, recycling a local waste product into biomass fuel.
Sanofi finally has its FDA approval for Lemtrada. The multiple sclerosis drug, previously rejected by the agency, will hit the market after a trio of new oral treatments. It will come with a boxed warning and faces tight controls on prescribing and distribution.
Ever since Dendreon's lackluster Provenge launch, the Washington-based biotech's failures have cast a pall over the troubled cancer vaccine field. And the company's bankruptcy won't help with that.
Merck KGaA may have struggled getting new drug products to market, but its $17 billion buyout of Sigma-Aldrich will allow it to help others, as well as itself, in that endeavor.
After a failed attempt to revive its late-stage program for Stimuvax, Merck KGaA is once again throwing in the towel on the cancer vaccine. The German company's biopharma division will cut its two monotherapy studies in the wake of another recent trial failure in Japan, it said late last week.
Merck KGaA emphasized the importance of China as a market when it announced last year it would build a new plant there, and again last month when it announced it was getting ready to start construction on the facility. And this week, just in case anyone had missed it, the drugmaker said construction had begun on the plant which will make meds on China's essential drug list.
Back in 2012, researchers flagged some positive results for patient subgroups in a flunked trial of Merck KGaA's cancer vaccine. But now, the vaccine has hit another snag, failing to hit its primary endpoint--as well as three secondary endpoints--in a Japanese trial, partner Oncothyreon said Monday in an SEC filing.
Germany's Merck KGaA is expanding its headquarters and manufacturing operations in Darmstadt, Germany. On Monday, Merck said it is investing about €27 million (about $36.3 million) to build two power plants that it says will provide more power more efficiently, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the area.
Merck KGaA will start construction next month on a plant to make diabetes drugs in China, a market it says is key to its future. The market is so important that the executive board of the German drugmaker held an event there to reiterate that point to Chinese officials.