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Investment

GSK and Merck KGaA to codevelop fusion protein

by Ryan Cross
February 8, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 6

 

GlaxoSmithKline is boosting its cancer therapy pipeline by paying Merck KGaA about $340 million to jointly develop and commercialize a cancer immunotherapy from the German firm. The experimental therapy, bintrafusp alfa, is a fusion protein that targets two pathways used by cancer cells to suppress the immune system: transforming growth factor-β and programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1). Anti-PD-L1 antibodies are part of an increasingly lucrative class of cancer drugs that firms are looking to combine with other therapies. Merck could earn up to $3.9 billion in future milestone payments.

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