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Home Industry News Merial receives approval for breakthrough melanoma vaccine

Merial receives approval for breakthrough melanoma vaccine

17th February 2010

Merial has received approval from health regulators in the US for what it considers to potentially be a landmark new cancer treatment.

The animal health company has won a full licence approval from the US department of agriculture for Oncept, a canine melanoma vaccine which is the first of its kind to be ratified for use in either animals or humans.

Dogs trialled using the drug showed significantly improved survival rates during a clinical trial, while a median life span proved impossible to determine due to the number of animals which survived beyond the end of the study.

It was developed in collaboration between Merial and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, both of whom believe the drug’s approval is a breakthrough in wider cancer care.

Dr Jedd Wolchok, of the melanoma and sarcoma service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, said: “We’re very excited about continuing research into this vaccine to explore the potential implications it has for humans. We hope this will result in improved cancer treatment for all.”

Merial has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanofi-aventis since the pharmaceuticals company bought out former partner Merck Sharpe and Dohme’s interest late in 2009.

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