Pfizer and Merck hook-up for cancer treatment trial

Pfizer and Merck are to collaborate in a trial of a combination therapy to target lung cancer.

A new partnership between Pfizer and Merck Sharp and Dohme will see the pair combining their own drugs to create a combination therapy to be tested on patients with ALK-positive advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.   

Pfizer’s crizotinib and Merck’s investigational anti-PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab will be combined and tested for safety and tolerability in a trial led by Pfizer and due to commence in 2015.

The pair will then explore combining Merck’s therapy with other Pfizer drugs as potential treatments for other types of cancer, including renal cell carcinoma.

Dr Mace Rothenburg, senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs and chief medical officer for Pfizer Oncology, said the collaboration was “just one example of the willingness of sponsors to work together in an effort to accelerate progress against some of the most difficult-to-treat cancers.”