October 22, 2019 / 12:50 PM / 8 months ago

Bristol-Myers' immunotherapies show promise in lung cancer trial; shares rise

Oct 22 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Tuesday an interim analysis of a late-stage trial testing a combination of its immuno-oncology drugs Opdivo and Yervoy met the main goal of extending life of previously untreated lung cancer patients.

Shares of the company rose 5% to $56 in premarket trading.

The company said its therapies when administered alongside two courses of chemotherapy demonstrated superior overall survival compared to chemotherapy alone in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of the disease.

Data presented at a medical meeting last month showed that about 40% of patients with advanced lung cancer on the Opdivo-Yervoy combination were alive after two years, outperforming chemotherapy as a first-line treatment.

Opdivo and Yervoy compete with rival drugs from companies such as Merck & Co and Roche in several types of cancer.

Merck's Keytruda dominates the highly lucrative market for newly diagnosed advanced lung cancer. Shares of the company fell 2.6% to $82.30 following the Bristol-Myers news.

The interim analysis builds on the positive results the Opdivo-Yervoy combination has previously shown in melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, said Bristol-Myers, adding that it will present full data from the trial at an upcoming meeting.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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