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Pfizer enters melanoma partnership with Debiopharm

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NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer Inc. said Thursday it is reviving development of its melanoma drug tremelimumab through a collaboration with Swiss drugmaker Debiopharm Group.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the companies said Debiopharm will handle late-stage studies of tremelimumab, while Pfizer will handle marketing if it is approved. They said a biomarker will be selected to help identify the patients who are most likely to be helped be tremelimumab.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and the number of melanoma cases worldwide is increasing faster than any other cancer, Pfizer said.

Pfizer ended a previous late-stage trial of the drug in April 2008 after a review of clinical data showed it was not much more effective than standard chemotherapy drugs. If the companies can find a biomarker that is connected to better results, they may have a better chance of running a successful study.