Merck’s melanoma drug shrinks tumours in 38% patients
Merck & Co has announced that its drug designed to fight cancer helped shrink tumours in 38% of patients in an ongoing phase 1 clinical trial. These are the first results for lambrolizumab (MK-3475), which is Merck’s investigational antibody therapy targeting PD-1, in patients with advanced (inoperable and metastatic) melanoma. They are based on analysis of 135 patients with metastatic melanoma who were divided into three groups with different treatment regimens: 10mg/kg every two weeks; 10mg/kg every three weeks or 2mg/kg every three weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
“We are encouraged by the results observed to date, including the rate and duration of responses, in patients with advanced melanoma. Based on these data and additional findings from our ongoing studies, Merck plans to initiate late-stage clinical trials of lambrolizumab in advanced melanoma, and non-small cell lung cancer in the third quarter of 2013.”
Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D. Ph.D., president, Merck Research Laboratories.
The data were recently presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2013 Annual Meeting in Chicago and also published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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