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NEW YORK – The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (Merck's Keytruda) plus chemotherapy as a treatment for locally recurrent, unresectable, or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer patients with high PD-L1-expressing tumors.

Advanced TNBC patients must have a PD-L1 combined positive score of at least 10, as determined by an FDA-approved test, in order to receive the drug. On the same day, the agency also approved Agilent/Dako's PD-L1 IHC 22C3 pharmDx test as a companion diagnostic to identify those with PD-L1-high TNBC.

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The Financial Times reports the US bolstering its ability to track SARS-CoV-2 alterations.

The New York Times reports that Cedars-Sinai researchers have uncovered a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 in Southern California.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: pan-cancer atlas focus on miRNA biogenesis mutations, methylation analysis of pig skeletal muscles, and more.

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Eric Lander to serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Associated Press says.

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