Pfizer Inc. announced it has entered into an agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to jointly develop and commercialize MSB0010718C, an investigational anti-PD-L1 antibody currently in development by Merck KGaA as a potential treatment for multiple types of cancer. According to a press release, Pfizer and Merck KGaA will explore the therapeutic potential of this novel anti-PD-L1 antibody as a single agent as well as in various combinations with Pfizer’s and Merck KGaA’s broad portfolio of approved and investigational oncology therapies.
Building on the ongoing Phase 1 program that has treated more than 550 patients, both companies will collaborate on up to 20 high priority immuno-oncology clinical development programs expected to commence in 2015. These clinical development programs include up to six trials (Phase 2 or 3) that could be pivotal for potential product registrations.
“This global alliance enables Pfizer and Merck KGaA to join forces and combine complementary strengths with the goal of meeting the needs of patients with multiple types of cancer,” said Albert Bourla, group president Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare Businesses, Pfizer. “Immuno-oncology is a top priority for Pfizer. Combining this promising anti-PD-L1 antibody with Pfizer’s extensive portfolio of small molecules and antibodies, provides an opportunity to potentially broaden the use of immunotherapy for patients with cancer and rapidly expand our oncology business...”
“Collaborating globally with Pfizer will allow us to benefit from the strengths and capabilities of both companies in immuno-oncology, further accelerating this promising asset in the race to address the needs of cancer patients across multiple tumor types," said Belén Garijo, president and chief executive officer of Merck’s biopharmaceutical division Merck Serono and Executive Board Member Elect. "Up to 20 high priority immuno-oncology clinical development programs are expected to commence in 2015, including pivotal registration studies...”
There are currently two clinical development programs underway evaluating Merck KGaA’s anti-PD-L1 antibody. In a Phase 1 trial, more than 550 patients have been treated with MSB0010718C across multiple types of cancers. There is also an ongoing Phase 2 trial evaluating this antibody in patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin cancer. For more information, please visit www.clinicaltrials.govExternal Links icon.
Under the terms of the agreement, Merck KGaA will receive an upfront payment of $850 million and is eligible to receive regulatory and commercial milestone payments up to approximately $2 billion. Both companies will jointly fund all development and commercialization costs and all revenues obtained from selling any anti-PD-L1 or anti-PD-1 products generated from this collaboration will be shared equally.
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