Hookipa Pharma announces oncology partnership with Merck

Immunotherapy-specialist Hookipa Pharma (NSDQ:HOOK) has announced a clinical collaboration and supply agreement with Merck (NYSE:MRK). Hookipa will test its immunotherapeutic HB-200 in conjunction with Merck’s blockbuster anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), as first-line treatment for patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

Last year, Merck raked in $14.5 billion in sales revenue from Keytruda.

“There remains considerable unmet treatment need for people with metastatic head and neck cancers, and we believe the combination of HB-200 and Keytruda may offer hope,” said Joern Aldag, Hookipa CEO, in a statement.

Hookipa reports that the company has seen early success with combining Keytruda and HB-200 in heavily pre-treated patients.

The company plans on launching a Phase 2 trialing the combination of HB-200 with Keytruda in 2022.

The company is developing a range of novel arenaviral immunotherapies for onc…

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Immunotherapy against cancer: Challenge and opportunities

Image from Wikipedia.

With some of the recently developed drugs showing unprecedented response rates and consistent improvement in overall survival in some indications, we face the dawn of a new era in anticancer research. New therapeutic targets, novel classes of products, booming and competing pipelines, innovative statistical methods, and a changing regulatory environment are all features of this new era.  

More than ever, we need clinical trials that can incorporate the required innovations into their design, conduct, infrastructure and analysis. Fortunately, specialist CROs stand ready to take what they have learned from the past 10 years of oncology drug development and apply it to the new world in which we find ourselves. 

These CROs already know how to meet the challenges of segmented study populations and an increasingly competitive development landscape, how to implement complex and adaptive…

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