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Merck’s Keytruda Had 80% Growth in the Third Quarter

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Keytruda’s revenue trends

Merck & Co.’s (MRK) Keytruda generated revenues of $1.9 billion in the third quarter, reflecting an ~80% YoY growth and a 13% sequential growth.

In the US and international markets, Keytruda generated revenues of $1.1 billion and $780 million, respectively, in the third quarter, compared to $604 million and $442 million, respectively, in the third quarter of 2017, reflecting an ~84% YoY growth and a ~76% YoY growth, respectively.

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Keytruda’s net revenues for the first nine months of the year were $5 billion compared to $2.5 billion in the same period of 2017, reflecting ~100% YoY growth. During the first nine months of the year, Keytruda generated revenues of $2.9 billion and $2.1 billion from sales in the US and international markets, respectively, reflecting a ~91% YoY growth and a ~114% YoY growth, respectively.

Recent developments

In October, the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (or CHMP) recommended a positive opinion for approval of Keytruda for the treatment of individuals with melanoma with the involvement of lymph nodes and who had undergone complete surgical resection. The CHMP recommended a favorable opinion based on data from the pivotal Phase 3 EORTIC1325/KEYNOTE-054 trial in which Keytruda demonstrated significant progress in recurrence-free survival. The KEYNOTE-054 trial was conducted in collaboration with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer.

The approval of a label expansion for Keytruda by the European Commision is expected to boost the drug’s sales.

In October, Merck also announced that its Phase 3 KEYNOTE-426 trial met its primary endpoint. In the trial, Merck evaluated Keytruda in combination with Pfizer’s Inlyta in the first-line setting for the treatment of individuals with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The clinical trial met both of its primary endpoints: overall survival and progression-free survival. To know more about the clinical trial, please refer to Merck’s press release.

Keytruda is expected to significantly boost Merck’s revenue growth in 2018 and beyond. Merck’s revenue growth could boost the share prices of the iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE).

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