Tags: Cancer | breast | cancer | drugs | immune

New Immune-Boosting Drugs Fight Breast Cancer

Friday, 17 October 2014 07:58 AM

Swiss drugmaker Roche and U.S. group Merck & Co are to present data on their rival immunotherapy drugs in breast cancer in December, extending the novel approach to fighting tumors to another cancer type.
 
Early clinical results with Roche's drug, known as MPDL3280A, in so-called triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) will be revealed at the Dec. 9-13 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the firm said after announcing third-quarter results.

TNBC does not respond to either of two kinds of hormonal therapy or drugs that target HER2 receptors, such as Roche's own Herceptin.

Merck later confirmed that it, too, would present data on TNBC with its competitor drug Keytruda at the same breast cancer meeting.

Both drugs belong to a class designed to help the body's own immune system fend off cancer by blocking a protein known as Programmed Death receptor (PD-1), or a related target PD-L1, used by tumors to evade disease-fighting cells.

Developed first for melanoma, these medicines are also showing promise in a range of other tumor types.

Roche's MPDL3280A, which is not yet approved for any type of cancer, is already being tested in melanoma, as well as lung, bladder, kidney, bowel and blood cancers.

Merck's Keytruda became the first in the new wave of immune-boosting medicines to be approved for treating melanoma in the United States last month and is also being tested in a range of other tumor types.

Some analysts believe the new immunotherapy drug class could generate more than $30 billion (18.66 billion pounds) in annual sales for the industry as a whole by 2025, reflecting both the wide range of patients who could benefit and the high cost of the medicines.

The two other main rivals in the space are Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Swiss drugmaker Roche and U.S. group Merck Co are to present data on their rival immunotherapy drugs in breast cancer in December, extending the novel approach to fighting tumors to another cancer type. Early clinical results with Roche's drug, known as MPDL3280A, in...
breast, cancer, drugs, immune
292
2014-58-17
Friday, 17 October 2014 07:58 AM
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