Merck's Immuno-Oncology Molecule to Be Supported by Pfizer

The collaboration between the 2 drug giants will prove a big boost to Merck's cancer immunotherapy MSB0010718C, and will also improve it's global oncology business.

Merck of Germany said on Monday that the American drug giant Pfizer had agreed to pay $850 million upfront and as much as $2 billion later in a deal to jointly develop one of Merck’s cancer drugs.

The alliance with Pfizer is expected to strengthen Merck’s existing oncology business in several important markets around the world, including the United States, Merck said. The deal also is expected to help spread the cost of developing the drug.

Under the agreement, Merck and Pfizer will jointly develop and commercialize MSB0010718C, a potential treatment for several types of tumor. It is a so-called immuno-oncology drug, which, if successful, would help the body’s own immune system fight cancer.

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