Merck & Company Receives Orphan Drug Status for Keytruda

Merck & Company has received orphan drug designation for Keytruda as treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma from the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration, according to the agency’s website.

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare type of skin cancer, usually appearing as a flesh-colored or bluish-red nodule, often on the face, head or neck. It is also called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.

Keytruda or pembrolizumab is a cancer drug that works against the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.It was previously approved by the FDA on an “accelerated” basis to treat lung cancer or head and neck cancer.

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