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Feature Story

Pfizer moves up

How Pfizer, Merck KGaA plan to catch up in cancer immunotherapy

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.

Last week, 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.

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