Merck’s Keytruda Nabs EU Approval for Colorectal Cancers

January 29, 2021

Merck’s blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has received European Commission approval as a standalone therapy for two types of colorectal cancer.

The approval is for first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair-deficient colorectal cancer.

The commission based its approval on results from a pivotal phase 3 trial in which Keytruda as a standalone therapy reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 40 percent and “more than doubled median progression-free survival” compared with alternative therapies, the company said.

Merck earned almost $10.4 billion in global Keytruda sales for the first three quarters of 2020. Full-year 2020 sales data will be released Feb. 4.

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