At a Glance
International non-proprietary name (INN): Pembrolizumab
Brand name: Keytruda
Previous name: MK-3475, lambrolizumab
Developed by: Organon (acquired by Schering-Plough in 2007)
Marketed by: Merck & Co/MSD (merged with Schering-Plough in 2009)
Drug class: PD-1 inhibitor
Approval status: Approved in USA for advanced melanoma patients already treated with ipilimumab in September 2014 with an expanded indication granted in December 2015 for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma, and in October 2015 for treatment of patients with metastatic PD-L1-positive non-small cell lung cancer. In Europe, it has been recommended for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma since May 2015.
The Human Touch
David Matthews is associate director of biotherapeutics at MRC Technology. We spoke with Matthews to find out how MRC Technology helped the drug’s inventors take the first steps towards human trials.
Why is pembrolizumab important?
Firstly, it is active in hitherto very difficult-to-treat cancers, in some cases inducing complete remission, which is amazing. Secondly, it was the first successful PD-1 pathway inhibitor and one of the first checkpoint inhibitors. It’s a game-changing approach, and has opened our eyes to the possibility of targeting more cancers using similar mechanisms. The pharmaceutical industry is now putting a lot of investment and effort into understanding the pathways involved and hopefully coming up with more checkpoint inhibitors that can target more cancers.
Enjoy our FREE content!
Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Translational Scientist’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!
If you don’t have an account you can:
REGISTER NOW – it’s FREE and always will be!
You will benefit from:
- Unlimited access to ALL articles
- News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
Or Login as a Guest or via Social Media
This will allow you to read this article but you will only have limited access to The Translational Scientist.Login as Guest Facebook Google+ LinkedIn Twitter