Merck and Eisai sign deal for renal cancer drug

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Merck & Co., in Kenilworth, NJ, and Tokyo-based Eisai Co. Ltd. signed a collaboration to develop and sell Eisai’s renal cancer drug Lenvima (lenvatinib), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

The drug is already approved in many countries for advanced renal cancer and for locally recurrent or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer.

The terms specify that Lenvima will be developed for several types of cancer as a standalone treatment and in combination with Merck’s anti–PD-1 immunotherapeutic agent, Keytruda (pembrolizumab).

In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted a breakthrough therapy designation for the combination of the two drugs. The data showed that