Bristol Topples After Merck Treatment Outperforms It In Lung Cancer Tests

Merck & Co adds to AACR Keytruda data with ‘practice-changing’ NSCLC results

Merck & Co adds to AACR Keytruda data with ‘practice-changing’ NSCLC results

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY -5.3%) appears to be on the short end of its toe-to-toe data presentation with Merck (MRK +2.9%) in melanoma at the AACR Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The results come a week after rival Merck & Co said a trial testing its blockbuster drug Keytruda as a monotherapy in previously untreated lung cancer patients was successful.

Merck's Keytruda with chemotherapy showed "practice-changing" results in a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting. That reduced the risk of death by 51%. Bristol-Myers said in February that the trial succeeded, but didn't provide specifics.

Bristol-Myers had made a change midway through the trial, a move that prompted some skeptics to question whether the drugmaker was altering the trial to try and create a better result. Overall survival, although preliminary, was also favorably impacted by the O/Y combination.

"I don't anticipate there will be any immediate impact on prescribing use or doctors' behavior", said Roy S. Herbst, head of oncology at Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut.

Most of the 1 million patients newly diagnosed with advanced, non-small cell lung cancer worldwide have few options other than chemotherapy, which offers modest benefits.

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