FRANKFURT, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Merck KGaA's prospective lung cancer treatment tepotinib became the third drug against a rare and aggressive subtype of the disease that won U.S. Food and Drug Administration's breakthrough therapy designation.
Novartis last week won the breakthrough therapy tag, which puts it on a fast track for regulatory review, for its capmatinib drug. Pfizer's Xalkori drug was given the designation https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer_s_xalkori_crizotinib_receives_fda_breakthrough_therapy_designation_in_two_new_indications-0 last year.
All three medicines are designed to tackle the so-called MET exon14 skipping mutation in the genetic makeup of a lung tumour, which accounts for 3% to 5% of all non-small cell lung (NSCLC) cancer cases.
Germany's Merck KGaA, which in February struck a large collaboration deal over cancer immunotherapy bintrafusp alfa with GSK, reiterated on Wednesday that it would develop tepotinib under its own steam. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger, editing by Riham Alkousaa)