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Emma Asma Cornwall in Gainers & Losers,

Is Merck getting out of flat?

The FDA approved the use of Merck's KEYTRUDA(pembrolizumab) for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have high (at least 50%) PD-L1 expression and no EGFR or ALK mutations. KEYTRUDA is the first PD-1 inhibitor approved for these patients in a first-line setting.

The data supporting the approval was generated in the open-label Phase 3 KEYNOTE-024 study that showed the superiority of KEYTRUDA over chemotherapy as measured by progression-free survival, overall survival and objective response rate while providing a 50% lower risk of death or cancer progression (hazard ratio: 0.50). KEYTRUDA's original NSCLC indication was in a second-line setting after platinum-based chemo.

Well, Merck shares have been stuck in flat for a while and good news could give shares a lift...