What We’re Reading, October 21, 2016: KEYNOTE-045 for pembrolizumab stopped early; new recommendations for digital media use by children; and Walgreens merger with Rite Aid pushed to 2017.
The phase 3 KEYNOTE-045 trial for pembrolizumab (Keytruda) evaluating the drug in previously treated patients with bladder cancer has been stopped early after it met its primary endpoint of overall survival. The programmed death-1 inhibitor proved superior to the investigator choice of chemotherapy—either paclitaxel, docetaxel, or vinflunine—in patients with metastatic or locally advanced or inoperable urothelial cancer that had failed to respond to platinum-based chemotherapy. Merck, the company developing pembrolizumab, is evaluating the drug in over 360 clinical trials in 30 tumor types.
Digital addiction in children may not be as bad as most presume. The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a policy statement providing guidance on age-based screen time for children. The guidance, published in the journal Pediatrics, goes as far as to say that parents can be a part of this experience for their children and that video chatting might actually be healthy. Following are a few of the recommendations:
Walgreens and Rite Aid have pushed back the deadline to close their merger. The Wall Street Journal reports that the $9.4 billion merger is expected to come to fruition early next year following delays in selling stores—a requirement for regulatory approval. The companies will sell between 500 and 1000 stored combined. Experts have raised doubts over whether the deal will eventually transpire, which led to an affirmation on the deal by Walgreens. Share prices for both companies saw a subsequent jump: 7.9% for Rite Aid and 3.8% for Walgreens.