Checkpoint Inhibitor Deals: Searching For IO Combinations To Unlock Cancer’s Black Box
Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb's market-dominating checkpoint inhibitors are competing to find the next combination therapy to treat more cancer patients, in more types of cancers. Recent failures and new regulatory pressure, however, may have a cooling effect, even as researchers come full circle with PD-l/PD-L1 and CTL-4 combinations. The race is also on to pull new combinations from emerging cell therapy and precision oncology drug candidates.
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Revealing that the pegylated IL-10 therapy acquired in the Armo buyout two years ago has failed a pair of Phase II NSCLC trials, Lilly said it plans no further studies with the drug. Trulicity and Taltz led Lilly’s continuing growth story.
There is a unique phenomenon being realized in immuno-oncology deal-making compared with other segments in the life sciences sector – an apparent uncoupling between risk and return on invested capital, as early assets provide similar liquidity to more mature assets.