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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) has won Food and Drug Administration approval for a new cancer therapy, lining up behind five marketed treatments that work by removing brakes on the immune system to turn the body’s defenses against tumors.

The company, alongside partner Sanofi (SNY), is entering a crowded market in which it is years behind the leaders, who have reaped billions of dollars in sales while racking up FDA approvals in more than a dozen tumor types. But Regeneron believes that, with some clever positioning and combination treatments, it can outfox its rivals and build its drug, cemiplimab, into a contender in the field.


“We’re still in the early innings,” said Dr. Israel Lowy, Regeneron’s vice president of clinical development. “As they say in Sherlock Holmes, the game is afoot.”

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