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Home Industry News Merck Sharp and Dohme and Incyte outline plans for new cancer treatment research

Merck Sharp and Dohme and Incyte outline plans for new cancer treatment research

6th April 2017

Merck Sharp and Dohme has confirmed additional details of a previously-announced cancer research collaboration it is conducting in partnership with Incyte.

The partners will be investigating a combination of epacadostat, Incyte's investigational oral selective IDO1 enzyme inhibitor, with Merck's approved anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda across five different tumour types.

This expanded collaboration includes seven pivotal phase III studies, with a trial assessing the performance of the regimen against metastatic melanoma already underway. Another two will examine its efficacy in first-line non-small cell lung cancer, including both PD-L1 high-expressing and PD-L1 unselected populations.

Meanwhile, two more studies will test the benefits of this regimen for bladder cancer patients, with one focusing on first-line and another on second-line cancer. The final two trials will target renal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

Both companies will share responsibility for funding the pivotal studies, with Merck Sharp and Dohme taking the lead on conducting the trials.

Dr Roy Baynes, senior vice-president, head of clinical development and chief medical officer at Merck Research Laboratories, said: "Our clinical trial programme with Incyte represents an important part of our multi-pronged efforts to investigate the potential for Keytruda in combination with promising compounds, such as epacadostat."

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