Category: checkpoint inhibitors

  • Pfizer vaults into CD47 arena, buying Trillium for $2.3 billion

    Pfizer is the latest big pharma company to take a position on drugs that target CD47 – a ‘don’t eat me’ signal that protects cancer cells from being attacked by the immune system. The drugmaker has agreed a $2.3 billion deal to buy Canadian biotech Trillium Therapeutics and its two lead candidates – TTI-622 and […]

  • NICE says no to Merck Serono’s Bavencio in bladder cancer

    Merck Serono’s Bavencio is the only checkpoint inhibitor to be approved for first-line maintenance treatment of bladder cancer in Europe, but UK cost-effectiveness agency NICE says it is too expensive to justify routine NHS use.  Bavencio (avelumab) was approved in the UK earlier this year for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC) – the […]

  • Merck, Pfizer get EU nod for Bavencio as bladder cancer maintenance

    Pfizer and partner Merck KGaA now have approval on both sides of the Atlantic for their checkpoint inhibitor Bavencio as a first-line maintenance therapy for bladder cancer, stealing a march on rival drugs in a highly competitive market. The European Commission has cleared Bavencio (avelumab) for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC) – the […]

  • Blow for Novartis as PD-1 drug spartalizumab flunks trial

    Novartis’ hopes of catching up with other companies in immuno-oncology have been dented after PD-1 inhibitor spartalizumab failed a phase 3 trial in skin cancer. Novartis had hoped the COMBI-i trial would allow it to file for approval of the ‘me-too’ PD-1 inhibitor before the end of this year as part of a triple therapy […]

  • Regeneron pairs with BioNTech on melanoma immunotherapy

    Regeneron and Sanofi’s PD-1 inhibitor Libtayo will be tested in tandem with a cancer vaccine developed by BioNTech in melanoma in people who have failed treatment with other checkpoint inhibitors. The two companies will carry out a phase 2 trial of Libtayo (cemiplimab) alongside BioNTech’s mRNA cancer immunotherapy BNT111, which is designed to stimulate immune […]

  • Roche’s Tecentriq claims melanoma OK, but don’t expect a sales surge

    Roche’s checkpoint inhibitor Tecentriq has been cleared for another new use in the US – in melanoma – but could struggle to displace rival drugs from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co. The FDA has approved the PD-L1 inhibitor as a combination with two targeted drugs – MEK inhibitor Cotellic (cobimetinib) and BRAF inhibitor Zelboraf […]

  • Gilead eyes takeover of cancer biotech Tizona, despite its ties to AbbVie

    Gilead Sciences’ run of oncology-focused deals has continued with an option to buy cancer immunotherapy specialist Tizona – even though the biotech’s lead drug candidate is already partnered with AbbVie. Gilead is paying $300m for a 49.9% stake in Tizona, and taking an option to buy the company outright for another $1.25 billion. Tizona is […]