Merck, Pfizer post positive results for kidney cancer combo

Feb. 19, 2019

A combination of treatments from Merck and Pfizer has shown to extend the life of patients with advanced kidney cancer. 

Data from a late-stage study showed that using a combination of Merck’s Keytruda alongside Pfizer’s Inlyta reduced the risk of death for patients by 47 percent, compared to using an older Pfizer oncology drug, Sutent, alone. 

The findings are the latest in a string of positive trials for Keytruda, which was first approved in 2014, and is now being evaluated as a treatment for around 30 types of cancers. 

According to the study, 90 percent of patients taking the Keytruda/Inlyta combo were alive after 12 months, compared to 78 percent taking Sutent alone.  

If the treatment duo is approved for this indication, it would be taking on Bristol-Myers Squibb’s immunotherapy combo of Opdivo and Yervoy in the advanced kidney cancer market, which has been shown to offer a 67 percent survival rate after two years. 

Read the full Reuters report.