Merck’s Keytruda gets positive marks in late-stage lung cancer trial

Apr 09, 2018

Merck & Co.’s hallmark lung cancer drug, Keytruda, could soon be approved to treat a wider number of patients.

The blockbuster drug is already considered the main player on the market, and has been approved to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer with tumors that have a PD-L1 protein level of 50 percent or higher. This latest late-stage trial was for patients with the same protein but at a level between 1 and 49 percent. Data from the study showed that the drug was significantly effective in extending the lives of patients. The drug will now be tested to see if it meets a secondary goal of halting the progression of the disease.

Sales for Keytruda hit $3.81 billion last year, but are expected to rise to $10 billion by 2023. The drug is also approved to treat other forms of cancer including skin and blood cancer.

Read the full Reuters report.