Keytruda Merck: the popular girl in the town of Immuno-Oncology and her recent suitors

In the wake of Dynavax’s 3rd DSMB positive review, I complied a non-exhaustive list of current Merck Keytruda collaborations:

Dynavax:

SD-101 – Phase I/II by itself
activate TLR9 in DCs
http://investors.dynavax.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=915694

Amgen:

Talimogene laherparepvec – Phase III by itself
Engineered HSV-1 to 1) kill cancer cells 2) activate DCs by making GM-CSF
http://wwwext.amgen.com/media/media_pr_detail.jsp?releaseID=2054439

Eli Lily:

Multiple compounds
https://investor.lilly.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=890978

Oncosec:

Electroporation delivery of cDNA: IL-12, immune activator Phase II by itself
http://ir.oncosec.com/press-releases/detail/1634/uc-san-francisco-and-oncosec-medical-collaborate-to

Tesaro:

PARP-1/2 inhibitor – Phase III by itself
Inhibit DNA repair in cancer cells to induce apoptosis
http://ir.tesarobio.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=915582

Nanostring:

Gene expression assay for precision treatment
http://investors.nanostring.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=915259

Advaxis:

Lm-LLO Listeria vaccine for Immunotherapy – Approved by itself
Basically acting as TLR ligands. This is the oldest cancer immunotherapy idea.
http://ir.advaxis.com/press-releases/detail/744/advaxis-and-merck-form-collaboration-to-evaluate-investigational-combination-of-two-novel-immunotherapy-candidates-for-advanced-prostate-cancer

Syndax:

HDAC inhibitor, Phase III by itself
http://www.mercknewsroom.com/news-release/oncology-newsroom/syndax-and-merck-collaborate-immuno-oncology-study-evaluating-entinos

Tetralogic:

SMAC-Mimetic – IAP inhibitor Phase II by itself
inhibit proliferation and enhance apoptosis
http://ir.tetralogicpharma.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=907283