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Keytruda patent battle ends
March 2017
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LONDON—The patent dispute between Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Merck & Co. regarding Keytruda has finally been settled, with the result that Merck will pay BMS and Ono an initial sum of $625 million, and royalties of 6.5 percent of Keytruda’s global sales from 2017 to 2023, and 2.5 percent from 2024 through 2026.
 
Per Fenix Leung, pharmaceutical consultant for GlobalData, “BMS and Ono’s Opdivo has been in close competition with Keytruda to become the first available PD-1 drug in various cancer indications. Opdivo had a clear win against Keytruda in 2015 and the first half of 2016. However, it has seen major setbacks recently as it flopped in a first-line trial for NSCLC, and BMS has just given up the accelerated approval pathway for the Opdivo and Yervoy combination in NSCLC … Nevertheless, BMS can now sit back and enjoy the stream of royalty revenue coming from Keytruda while Merck pays the bills for the drug’s aggressive clinical development program.”

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