Novocure Announces Collaboration in Clinical Studies with MSD to Evaluate Tumor-Treating Fields Together with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


ST. HELIER, Jersey–(BUSINESS WIRE)– NovoCure Ltd. (NASDAQ: NVCR) today announced that it has entered into a clinical trial collaboration agreement with MSD (a trade name of Merck & Co., Inc.), through a subsidiary, to develop Tumor Treating Fields along with MSD’s anti-PD-1 -therapy KEYTRUDA ® (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Novocure’s Tumor Treating Fields use electric fields tuned to specific frequencies to disrupt cell division, inhibit tumor growth and cause cancer cells to die.

The two companies plan to conduct a Phase 2 pilot study of Tumor Treating Fields with KEYTRUDA for the first-line treatment of intrathoracic advanced or metastatic, PD-L1-positive NSCLC. The study is designed to enroll approximately 66 patients in the United States and is expected to begin in the second half of 2020. Objective response rate (ORR) is the primary endpoint of the study. Secondary endpoints included overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS), 6-month PFS, 1-year survival rate, duration of response, disease control rate at 18 weeks, and safety.

“We are thrilled to partner with MSD, a global leader in oncology, in this important combination study as we strive to extend survival of some of the most aggressive cancers through the development and commercialization of Tumor Treating Fields,” said William Doyle, executive chairman of Novocure. “Multiple preclinical studies suggest that using Tumor Treating Fields along with anti-PD-1 therapy may potentially enhance the immune response, resulting in better tumor control. We look forward to generating clinical data demonstrating the effect of Tumor Treating Fields concurrently with KEYTRUDA in first-line NSCLC.”

About lung cancer

Lung cancer, which forms in the tissues of the lungs, usually in cells lining the airways, is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Each year, more people die from lung cancer than from colon and breast cancer combined. The two main types of lung cancer are non-small cell and small cell. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for about 85 percent of all cases. The five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with NSCLC in the US is approximately 24 percent.

About tumor-treating fields

Tumor Treating Fields is a cancer therapy that uses electric fields tuned to specific frequencies to disrupt cell division, inhibit tumor growth and cause cancer cells to die. Tumor Treating Fields does not stimulate or heat tissue and targets dividing cancer cells of a certain size. Tumor Treating Fields causes minimal damage to healthy cells. Mild to moderate skin irritation is the most commonly reported side effect. Tumor Treating Fields is approved in certain countries for the treatment of adults with glioblastoma and in the US for mesothelioma, two of the most difficult cancers to treat. The therapy shows promise in multiple types of solid tumors, including some of the most aggressive cancers.

The use of Tumor Treating Fields for the treatment of NSCLC is for research purposes only.

KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA.

About Novocure

Novocure is a global oncology company working to extend survival of some of the most aggressive cancers through the development and commercialization of its innovative therapy, Tumor Treating Fields. Novocure’s marketed products are approved in select countries for the treatment of adult patients with glioblastoma and in the US for the treatment of adult patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Novocure has ongoing or completed clinical trials in tumor treatment fields in brain metastases, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, liver cancer and gastric cancer.

Novocure, headquartered in Jersey, has US offices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Malvern, Pennsylvania and New York City. In addition, the company has offices in Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Israel. For more information about the company, visit: or follow us on

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