So far this year, Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo has grown about two times faster than Merck & Co.'s Keytruda, to $305 million and $159 million in third-quarter sales, respectively. And the FDA helped that trend along this month, when it gave Opdivo a new approval in non-small cell lung cancer several months early--just a week after Keytruda won its NSCLC green light.
Merck's immuno-oncology treatment Keytruda met just one of its two goals in a late-stage lung cancer trial, a rare clinical hiccup as it works to keep pace with rival Bristol-Myers Squibb and fortify its position as more contenders move toward the market.
A little more than a month ago Verastem had to mount a hasty defense of its lead drug defactinib (VS-6063) after an abstract hit the Twittersphere outlining poor efficacy and serious adverse events in its study for non-small cell lung cancer. This morning, though, the biotech could do little except acknowledge that the same drug had failed its most advanced study for mesothelioma.
Partners Amgen and Allergan say their knockoff of Roche's blockbuster Avastin proved itself on par with its reference product, putting the pair a step closer to biting into the cancer drug's billions in annual revenue.
Roche is spotlighting another success for its PD-L1 checkpoint drug atezolizumab, with company execs applauding a positive finish in a big mid-stage study in non-small cell lung cancer. The news follows a string of steady pipeline advancements for a drug that has emerged as the pharma giant's biggest single late-stage blockbuster contender.
Molecular diagnostics outfit Biodesix raked in $11 million in additional Series E financing to develop its blood-based test for non-small cell lung cancer, months after the company locked in new funds to support its commercialization efforts.
Over the weekend, Clovis Oncology took another big step toward its near-term goal of launching commercial operations, with plans to take pharma giant AstraZeneca head-on with two key franchise showdowns. The Boulder, CO-based biotech posted positive data from a mid-stage study of its ovarian cancer drug rucaparib at ASCO, while adding new--though less impressive--data to back up its lead drug for non-small cell lung cancer.
Three years after Takeda decided to double down on motesanib for non-small cell lung cancer, in-licensing full rights to the drug from Amgen following their big Phase III failure in 2011, the company has once again come up empty-handed in a major late-stage test of the therapy.
Biodesix reeled in an additional $12 million in Series E financing for its blood-based test for non-small cell lung cancer, bringing the company's proceeds from the sale to $27 million.
Bind Therapeutics believes its lead nanoparticle treatment can make a difference for a subgroup of lung cancer patients, pointing to some positive results from an otherwise mixed mid-stage trial as it prepares for further study.