Merck, Dynavax link up to test cancer immunotherapy regimens


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Merck, Dynavax link up to test cancer immunotherapy regimens



Another day, another onco-immunology tie-up, and this time it’s Merck & Co and Dynavax unveiling a new collaboration to investigate combinations of their investigational drugs.

The firms have signed two clinical trial collaboration pacts to look at the potential synergistic effect of marrying Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and investigational anti-interleukin-10 immunomodulator MK-1966 with Dynavax’s investigational toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist SD-101.

Under the plans, the safety and efficacy of combining SD-101 with Keytruda in patients with advanced melanoma will be assessed in a Phase Ib/II, multicenter, open-label study, pencilled in for the second half of 2015, while a regimen of SD-101 and MK-1966 will be tested in patients with solid or haematological malignancies in a Phase I trial also due to kick off later this year. 

Dynavax will sponsor and fund the SD-101 and Keytruda study and Merck will sponsor and fund the SD-101/MK-1966 trial. Both agreements include the potential to extend the collaboration into Phase III, but further details weren’t released. 

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Source: PharmaTimes

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