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Merck KGaA: wins Japan's approval for lung cancer drug

( - EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical unit of Germany's Merck, said that Japanese regulators have approved its Tepmetko drug for the treatment of patients with unresectable, advanced or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer with METex14 skipping alterations.

This is the first regulatory approval globally for an oral MET inhibitor - a small molecule that is designed to inhibit the oncogenic MET receptor - for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer harboring MET gene alterations, the drugs and lab supplies maker said.

Tepmetko is administered 500 mg once daily as two 250 mg tablets.

With two million cases diagnosed annually, lung cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide with alterations of the MET occuring in 3% to 5% of non-small cell lung cancer cases.

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