Incyte and Merck & Co. have halted a phase 3 study evaluating Incyte's epacadostat with Merck's Keytruda in patients with metastatic melanoma after determining that the study did not improve progression-free survival.
Incyte's epacadostat blocks an enzyme called IDO1 and is seen as complementary to the checkpoint inhibitors, such as Keytruda, that have pushed immuno-oncology forward.
The failure of this study is a major blow in the quest to find new types of drugs with the potential to work in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. Success had the potential to be practice-changing in the frontline setting of advanced melanoma.
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