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Merck KGaA lung cancer drug is 3rd on U.S. watchdog's priority lane

Credit: REUTERS/THOMAS WHITE

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.

FRANKFURT, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Merck KGaA's MRCG.DE 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 NOVN.S last week won the breakthrough therapy tag, which puts it on a fast track for regulatory review, for its capmatinib drug. Pfizer's PFE.N Xalkori drug was given the designation 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 GSK.L, reiterated on Wednesday that it would develop tepotinib under its own steam.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger, editing by Riham Alkousaa)

((Riham.Alkousaa@thomsonreuters.com;))

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