Merck | October 29, 2021
Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that its Life Science business sector has launched new technology and expanded capacity to advance ADC therapies. These initiatives underscore Merck's continued investment in novel modalities and support the company's efforts to double its ADC and high-potent active pharmaceutical ingredient (HPAPI) capacity in the near future.
"ADCs have experienced remarkable growth, with commercially approved ADCs tripling in the past three yearsWe are a pioneer in this space, involved in 50 percent of the commercially approved ADCs on the market today. This latest innovation and additional capacity help bring novel treatments to cancer patients around the world and reinforce our commitment to shaping the future of these novel modalities.
Andrew Bulpin, head of Process Solutions, Life Science, at Merck
With the launch of its ChetoSensar™ technology, Merck is one of the front runners working to address the hydrophobicity of ADCs, in tandem with its CDMO services. Many ADC candidates have poor aqueous solubility and Merck estimates that more than 20 percent of ADC clinical terminations are caused by this issue. The company's new ChetoSensar™ technology improves ADC solubility, therefore giving hope to ADCs that were previously terminated.
The payloads commonly used for ADCs are highly-complex molecules that take many steps to synthesize. Based on Merck's calculations, its new DOLCORE™ platform significantly reduces the development and manufacturing time required, increasing speed-to-market for a novel Dolostatin-based ADC payload by up to a year.
In addition, the company will enhance the ADC capabilities of its clinical manufacturing facility in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, in December. This facility will provide larger footprint to enable large-scale production including chromatographic purification for early phase clinical supply. This follows last year's announcement of a €59 million expansion of Merck's facility near Madison, Wisconsin, USA, which will double its HPAPI kilo lab capacity and enable the company to expedite the manufacture of HPAPIs, ADC linker/payloads, and complex APIs.
This innovation and additional capacity support the company's ambition to accelerate growth through investments in the "Big Three," including the Process Solutions business unit within the Life Science business sector as a key driver.
With 15 years of experience developing and manufacturing ADCs, Merck offers unique CDMO services streamlined with a single, highly experienced provider. The company leverages its global network and deep expertise to tailor each molecule's unique journey, while creating the dynamic client partnerships drug manufacturers need to help reach their critical milestones. Merck integrates contract development and manufacturing with the industry's broadest product offering across multiple modalities. Customers can also seamlessly integrate BioReliance® services from the company's leading biosafety testing portfolio.
Merck recently announced expansion projects in Darmstadt, Germany; Cork, Ireland; Buchs, Switzerland; Carlsbad, California, USA; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Jaffrey, New Hampshire, USA; and Danvers, Massachusetts, USA. These expansions are part of an ambitious, multi-year program to increase the industrial capacity and capabilities of the Life Science business sector to support growing global demand for lifesaving medications and to make significant contributions to public health.
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people's lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2020, Merck generated sales of € 17.5 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck's technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics.
Pharmatimes | July 22, 2019
Merck and Pfizer have announced that the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency MHRA has issued an Early Access to Medicines Scheme EAMS positive scientific opinion for Bavencio avelumab used in combination with Inlyta axitinib. The opinion is for the combination as first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and is based on information relating to the benefit and risks of the medicines and enables clinicians to prescribe the unlicensed treatment under their own responsibility. The combination was approved by the FDA in May this year based on positive results from the Phase III JAVELIN Renal 101 study (NCT02684006), in which the combination significantly improved median progression-free survival (PFS) compared with sunitinib by more than five months. The study included patients regardless of PD-L1 expression and across IMDC (International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database) prognostic risk groups. There is a significant unmet need for RCC first-line treatments that delay progression and have an acceptable safety profile, as approximately 20% to 30% of patients are first diagnosed with RCC at the advanced stage, and 30% of patients treated for an earlier stage go on to develop metastases.
fiercepharma | June 20, 2019
Merck CEO Ken Frazier kicked off Thursdays Investor Day presentation by acknowledging that the companys most recently lauded blockbuster, immunooncology drug Keytruda, is also its biggest challenge. “Everywhere I go, the key question I hear from people is ‘What do you have beyond Keytruda?’” Frazier said in his introduction to the investor presentation—the company’s first such event in five years. “But I think what we’re going to be able to show you today is that we do have tremendous growth opportunities beyond Keytruda.” It’s no wonder Frazier finds himself constantly facing the Keytruda question, considering how dominant that one product has been in Merck’s financial reports over the last few years. Even as recently as the first quarter of this year, when Keytruda’s sales leaped 60% to $2.3 billion, the company touted the recent successes that Frazier and his colleagues vowed would drive growth even more, including its new FDA approval for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients who have low levels of the biomarker PD-L1. During Investor Day, Merck’s chief commercial officer, Frank Clyburn, pointed out that Keytruda is just now starting to forge another new market—renal cell carcinoma. He reported that at the recent conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), clinicians told him the data in kidney cancer would be “practice changing.” Oncologists were also excited about the potential of the drug in adjuvant melanoma, both in the U.S. and overseas, he said. CFO Rob Davis said he is confident that as Merck moves away from selling drugs mostly to a primary-care audience toward more hospital-administered products, the company’s profit margins will expand. Operating expenses will grow at a rate “meaningfully below sales,” he said. And the resulting margin expansion “will translate to accelerated earnings-per-share growth,” he vowed.