By Erin McCallister, Senior Editor
Pfizer Inc. and Merck KGaA think they can create
one of the largest and most advanced cancer immunotherapy combination programs
by combining Merck's anti-PD-L1 mAb with Pfizer's early stage pipeline. But the
new partners will need to get more than eight different combinations into the
clinic if they hope to catch up with their peers in the PD-1/PD-L1 space.
Pfizer and Merck partnered to co-develop and co-commercialize Merck's
MSB0010718C, a human IgG1 mAb against programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1;
B7-H1; CD274). Merck will receive $850 million up front and is eligible for
regulatory and commercial milestones of up to $2 billion.