MSD Korea said that the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has approved an additional indication for Keytruda, a programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) immunotherapy.
Under the revised plan, Keytruda and chemotherapy (pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy) have become the first line combination treatment for treating metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), regardless of PD-L1 expression.
The approval comes after the ministry authorized the combination treatment with Keytruda, pemetrexed and carboplatin, as the first-line combination treatment for metastatic non-squamous NSCLC in 2017.
“The increase in insurance coverage is meaningful as the company has confirmed that the treatment can extend overall survival and improved progression-free survival through KEYNOTE-189, a clinical trial for the drug,” the company said. “The study has proved that the newly approved treatment can prolong the overall survival expectancy of patients.”
“Keytruda is the only lung cancer immunotherapeutic agent that has received additional indication as the first line treatment in both monotherapy and combination therapy, and has sufficient clinical data,” said Choi Jae-yeon, executive director of MSD's oncology business.
Keytruda is conducting more than 800 clinical trials in more than 30 different types of cancer, which will broaden the treatment benefits for a variety of cancer patients who need better treatment options, he added.
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