Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Keytruda® Early Access In UK For Melanoma; Derek Lowe On R&D Shakeouts (Cubist Version)

Kenilworth this morning announced -- and the gent Ed Silverman duly noted -- that Keytruda® is the first candidate in the United Kingdom to receive an MHPRA pre-clearance "early access" to therapy (likely at small or no price) nod, for patients with advanced melanoma only. That is smallish good news, for Merck -- at least in comparison to BMS's news.

Separately, Derek Lowe at Corante has been lamenting of late the R&D cuts we've all been reading about -- including the Cubist Lexington, Massachusetts ones.

But this morning, he offers us the flip-side -- the quite correct view that this is a very exciting time for science -- cancer researchers, in particular. And he is right, big market disrupting advances lead to frictional dislocation of resources. . . including human capital. Here is a bit of Derek Lowe's fine analysis -- do go read it all:

. . . .That's just one therapeutic area, although it's a big one. There are others advancing as well. That's the frustrating part, in a way - coming into this field de novo, you'd look around and see so many opportunities that you wouldn't know where to start. But many of the existing businesses (and in some cases, existing business models) are having a heck of a time fitting in. Running an organization the size of a Merck or a Pfizer, with those expenses and those legacy commitments and that overhead, really is a beastly job. But no business is owed some sort of right to always exist in its present form. Business-wise, this is an ugly period. Scientifically, it's really quite good. Bridging those two, now - that's where all the clanging noises are coming from. . . .

Our thoughts are with the affected scientists' families -- but we do agree, we will collectively likely look back a decade or two from now, and say. . . this was the turning point, on cancer. That's heady stuff. So. . . onward.

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