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ASCO 2011: The Rapidly Changing Melanoma Market

Executive Summary

At the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in early June, Roche's vemurafenib, which is under review by the Food and Drug Administration and could be on the market by year's end, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s newly approved Yervoy took top billing, showcasing a rapidly evolving standard-of-care in metastatic melanoma.

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With The Launch Of Yervoy, Early Signs Of R&D Success For Bristol

Four years ago, Bristol management changed course and established the company as a pure play biopharma. Now, with the launch of Yervoy for metastatic melanoma and a late-stage pipeline that is chock-full, the strategy appears about to pay off. CEO Lamberto Andreotti and R&D president Elliott Sigal talked with IN VIVO about the launch of Yervoy and how Bristol, relying on R&D productivity, not diversification, is on track to overcome the extensive patent losses ahead.

Daiichi's Handsome Buyout Price Validates Plexxikon's Business Model

In an era in which biotechs struggle to get financing and Big Pharma is hungry for new drugs but typically favors deals that delay rewards, Plexxikon Inc. appears to have been dealt a top R&D hand and played its cards exceedingly well. Its strategy has culminated in one of the priciest private buyouts in recent history, its $805 million up-front acquisition by Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd.

AZ and Merck: Moving Forward Cautiously

A year after Merck & Co. Inc. and AstraZeneca PLC announced their innovative collaboration on the clinical development of two early-stage targeted cancer therapies, both companies say the project remains on track. To date the collaboration remains the sole example of two big drug makers collaborating in such close fashion on such early stage products. The companies were willing to take the leap in order to accelerate development of what they hope will be an effective targeted treatment in an emerging, highly competitive, but frustrating area of cancer research.

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