Merck announced that the U.S. FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), the company’s anti-PD-1 therapy, for the treatment of patients with microsatellite instability high (MSI-H) metastatic colorectal cancer. This is the third Breakthrough Therapy Designation granted for KEYTRUDA. KEYTRUDA is a humanized monoclonal antibody that works by increasing the ability of the body’s immune system to help detect and fight tumor cells. KEYTRUDA blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, thereby activating T lymphocytes which may affect both tumor cells and healthy cells.
Last month the U.S FDA approved Keytruda to treat patients suffering with advance non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).