Keytruda now available in EU for treatment of adults with advanced melanoma
London, UK, 22 July 2015: MRC Technology (MRCT), an independent medical research charity, is pleased to highlight that Keytruda (pembrolizumab), an immunotherapy treatment for advanced melanoma, was approved by the European Commission, allowing marketing in all EU member states. Developed by Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, the treatment’s early development work was carried out using MRC Technology’s antibody humanization expertise.
Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is considered a next generation drug in cancer care, stimulating the body’s immune system to fight the disease. The therapeutic is one of a new generation of PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) therapies that block the biological pathways cancers use to disguise themselves from the immune system. It acts by making the cancer cell ‘visible’ to the immune system and the cell can thus be destroyed by the body’s natural defence mechanisms. UK based scientists at MRCT, with extensive expertise in antibody engineering techniques, first advanced the antibody-based treatment and carried out humanization, an essential step in the success of the therapeutic.