Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo has signed a $5.5 billion deal with Merck to develop new cancer therapies. The deal will combine Daiichi's antibody-drug conjugates with Merck's antibody and drug delivery platforms.
This collaboration with Merck will help develop Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). ADCs are a class of drugs designed to target and kill only cancer cells, avoiding damage to healthy cells.
Unlike conventional chemotherapy, which can harm both healthy and cancerous cells, ADCs are developed to be highly selective. This technology holds great promise for cancer treatment, potentially reducing the side effects of treatment while improving patient outcomes.
According to the World Health Organization, cancer is a leading cause of death globally, responsible for almost 10 million deaths in 2020, and this accounts for approximately one in every six deaths worldwide.
This makes cancer a major public health issue, highlighting the need for increased research and prevention efforts. Early detection and improved treatment options are critical to reducing the death toll from cancer.
According to Cancer.Net, 67% of cancer survivors have lived at least 5 years after their diagnosis, and 18% have lived at least 20 years. These statistics highlight the long-term survival rate of cancer patients and suggest that many people can live for years after a cancer diagnosis.
The Daiichi Sankyo and Merck deal is the largest of its kind in the cancer therapy field and is likely to improve the cancer survivor stats and generate huge profits for both pharmaceutical companies.