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FDA puts hold on Merck multiple myeloma trials after deaths

Merck said on Wednesday the US Food and Drug Administration had placed a clinical hold on three multiple myeloma studies testing its Keytruda in combination with other medicines for the blood cancer after more deaths were reported in patients receiving the Merck immunotherapy. The rare setback for Keytruda sent Merck shares more than 1 percent lower. Merck has been on a roll with the medicine, jumping to the front of the pack of companies with new immuno-oncology drugs, particularly after Keytruda extended survival as…