Esmo 2018 – Merck & Co fails to Sting

Source:  Evaluate, November 2018

Oncology projects that disrupt the tumour microenvironment are hot property, and – after Aduro’s $225m deal with Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $300m takeover of IFM Therapeutics – the Sting pathway is seen as particularly attractive. This is why the first clinical data with Merck & Co’s Sting agonist MK-1454, presented at Esmo, were so eagerly awaited. In the event, however, investors were left disappointed when the study yielded no remissions in its MK-1454 monotherapy cohort; and none of the six of 24 patients responding to MK-1454 plus Keytruda had earlier failed checkpoint blockade.

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