A Slow News Week At Merck — Smallish Collaboration With BioThera Announced…

So the dog days of summer are upon us (as all my recent off-topic postings might suggest) — and it is a slow news week nearly everywhere in the land of bioscience. I too am easy, breezy and in need of nothing new, truth be told. [Nope, I cannot stomach the notion of posting about Martin Shkreli appearing on cable news TV, to defend Epi-Pen price gouging. No feeding the trolls!]

But in keeping with our past practice, here is one smallish Phase II (hoping to make it to Phase III) clinical trial agreement. Do go read it all, as it does involve Merck’s single best flagship product:

. . . .Under this new collaboration, a Phase 2 clinical trial is anticipated to enroll up to 95 patients who have either advanced melanoma no longer responding to initial treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor therapy or TNBC whose disease has progressed following treatment with one or more lines of therapy for metastatic disease. Biothera will be the sponsor of the study, which is planned to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016. Merck will provide clinical supplies of Keytruda for the planned studies. Other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed. . . .

Yes — a slow news week, indeed. But as you might glean, I do spend these slower moments reading science, and connecting it to the sorts of poetry long-forgotten by most. And in mind of that, just three years ago this week, Seamus Haney (that Nobel winner, and grand black Irishman!) left our company. I’ll close here — with a short bit one of my favorites of his, then:

…And after the commanded journey, what?

Nothing magnificent, nothing unknown.

A gazing out from far away, alone.

And it is not particular at all,

Just old truth dawning: there is no next-time-round….

Travel well; and do travel light, my friends.

Nämasté

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