What happens when two world renowned names come together for a cause? This is exactly how a partnership between Merck&Co Inc (NYSE:MRK) and Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) can be described as the two giants in the pharmaceutical sector have decided to combine efforts to fight cancer.
While Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) has been dedicating its efforts towards finding an effective treatment for lung cancer, Merck&Co Inc (NYSE:MRK) has been focused in developing immunotherapy drugs for fighting the same. Subsequent to having joined hands, the two companies intend to combine Merck&Co Inc (NYSE:MRK)’s Pembrolizumab and Xalkori, which is basically the market name given by Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) to crizotinib and see how well it works against cancer.
As per Eric Rubin, Merck&Co Inc (NYSE:MRK)’s executive –
“Evidence from early studies of pembrolizumab monotherapy together with Xalkori’s proven targeted therapeutic approach provides the scientific rationale for evaluating this combination for the treatment of lung cancer.”
According to Damien Conover, Healthcare Research Director at Morningstar, this trend of pharmaceutical companies coming together to combat this deadly medical condition is relatively recent and is indicative of the increasing proclivity towards combination therapies. These therapies have been proved as being effective in treating various forms of cancer and have been found to provide long-term relief.
The company’s President, Research Laboratories, Roger Perlmutter explains how PD-1 can be instrumental in controlling the body’s response towards carcinogens. What could be a better validation of his opinions than the fact that other leading global pharmaceutical brands like Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca are also engaged in similar research? He has also expressed the opinion that pharmaceutical companies owed it to cancer patients the world over to find a drug that would prove to be a potent cure.
Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)’s role, Damien Conover, is more of a survival tactic as he observes –
“For Pfizer, these collaborations help secure their drugs in a market that is going under a paradigm shift toward immunotherapy drugs, I see it more of a defensive move to make sure Pfizer’s drugs are being used in the anti-PD-1 space, instead of being bypassed.”
Irrespective of the intention, it is one of the few recent venture over which both companies have joined more than just hands.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu.