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Roche CEO Refuses to Cede Cancer's Hottest New Field to Merck

Naomi Kresge, Tim Loh
Roche CEO Refuses to Cede Cancer's Hottest New Field to Merck

Roche Holding AG is refusing to cede the hottest new area of cancer care to Merck & Co. despite trailing its U.S. rival. Merck’s immune therapy Keytruda has dominated the market, with analysts predicting it will deliver more than $10 billion in annual sales by 2020. Roche still believes it can be a leader in the field of drugs designed to unleash the body’s immune system against tumors, with positive results for its own contender Tecentriq coming at two conferences this fall, Chief Executive Officer Severin Schwan said in an interview.