When Pfizer teamed up with Merck KGaA on lung cancer, the headlines zeroed in on the sexiest part of the $2.85 billion deal: their immuno-oncology plans. The two companies will work together on cancer-fighters in the PD-L1 arena, one of the hottest fields in pharma these days, including a Phase II Merck drug.
Germany's Merck KGaA now considers the world's emerging markets as a group, with China a major driver, to be a greater revenue-producer than Europe, unit CEO Bernd Reckmann said in an interview.
Last June, Auxogyn's Eeva System was the first to be cleared by FDA to aid in IVF embryo selection in combination with traditional morphology. Now the startup has raised $34.3 million, out of a planned $41 million, financing round to start commercializing this test, according to an SEC filing.
Merck KGaA said it has taken back Japan marketing rights for its best-selling Erbitux (cetuximab) cancer drug, ending its shared arrangement with Bristol-Myers Squibb effective May 1.
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.