US-based Merck & Co. yesterday announced clinical results from its Phase-III KEYNOTE-181 clinical trial conducted on patients with metastatic esophageal cancer treated with the anti-PD-1 immunotherapy Keytruda. The results are highly positive and show a significant increase in overall survival (OS) vs conventional chemotherapy (paclitaxel, docetaxel or irinotecan). This is a momentous announcement, since esophageal cancer is the seventh most common cancer type in the world for which no approved immunotherapy exists yet. Should Keytruda be approved, it would increase its advantage over its long-time competitor–BMS’ Opdivo, the other oncology blockbuster.
(Source Merck & Co.)