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Roche Left Seeking a Niche as Merck Dominates Lung-Cancer Market

Naomi Kresge, Michelle Cortez
Roche Left Seeking a Niche as Merck Dominates Lung-Cancer Market

Roche Holding AG is starting to look more like a niche player in the hottest new field in oncology, as lung-cancer study results unveiled on Monday failed to meet the benchmark set by U.S. rival Merck & Co. It’s still unclear whether and how much Roche’s drug Tecentriq can extend the lives of patients with the most common type of lung cancer when added to chemotherapy, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said in a patient trial presented Monday at the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Toronto. The results mean Roche will need to concentrate for now on less common -- and less lucrative -- types of tumors.