Issue Date: March 12, 2018
Merck licenses cancer drug from Eisai
Merck & Co. will pay Eisai $750 million plus milestone payments of up to $4 billion to jointly develop Eisai’s lenvatinib mesylate, a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor already approved to treat certain cancers. The two firms will develop the drug, sold as Lenvima, as a monotherapy and in combination with Merck’s Keytruda anti-PD-1 cancer therapy. “There is strong scientific evidence supporting synergistic effects of Keytruda when used in combination with Lenvima,” says Roger M. Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories.
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