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3 Jun 2014

Data on Merck’s Pembrolizu?mab from Largest Study to Date of Investigat?ional Anti-PD-1 Antibody in Advanced Melanoma Highlighte?d at ASCO 2014

MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd) today announced new data from the company’s large ongoing Phase Ib study (KEYNOTE-001) evaluating pembrolizumab (MK-3475), Merck’s investigational anti-PD-1 antibody, as a single agent (monotherapy) in 411 patients with advanced melanoma. 


Following treatment with pembrolizumab, the estimated overall survival (OS) rate at one year was 69% across all patients studied, including 74% in patients without prior ipilimumab therapy (current standard therapy) and 65% in patients who had progressive disease on or following ipilimumab. At 18 months, the estimated OS was 62%. The median OS has not been reached, with some patients receiving treatment with pembrolizumab as monotherapy for more than 2 years.[1]

These new data will be presented today in an oral session by Dr Antoni Ribas, professor, Hematology/Oncology and Surgery, and director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO 2014) in Chicago (Abstract #LBA9000). 

“Pembrolizumab looks like it has potential to be a paradigm shift for cancer therapy and is firmly helping to establish immunotherapy as one of the most exciting and promising treatment modalities in recent years,” said Dr David Chao, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust. “The survival results seen in KEYNOTE-001, which are the most meaningful measures of success to doctors and patients alike, are very promising and could benefit the many patients with advanced melanoma in the UK.” 



[1] Ribas A, Hodi FS, Kefford R, et al. Efficacy and Safety of the Anti-PD-1 Monoclonal Antibody MK-3475 in 411 Patients With Melanoma. Abstract #LBA9000 presented at the 2014 ASCO annual meeting. 

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