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In the latest twist in the immunotherapy market, Merck (MRK) disclosed that its Keytruda cancer medicine helped previously untreated lung cancer patients live longer than chemotherapy in a late-stage trial, which may solidify its position as the leading drug maker in this lucrative market.

Although full data was not reported and the trial will continue to evaluate whether Keytruda can delay lung cancer from progressing, the disclosure is potentially quite significant for Merck. The company is increasingly relying on its cancer portfolio for growth and Keytruda is already a dominant lung cancer treatment. Last year, the drug, which is approved to treat other cancers, notched $3.8 billion in sales.

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