Bris­tol’s drug dilemma

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - BUSINESS -

Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb shares sank 10 per­cent Mon­day af­ter the com­pany re­ported dis­ap­point­ing data for one of its lung can­cer drugs.

Bris­tol-My­ers’ drug Op­divo is go­ing head-to-head with Merck & Co.’s Keytruda. Both are de­signed to bol­ster the im­mune sys­tem so that pa­tients can bet­ter fight can­cer. The drugs are both al­ready ap­proved to treat melanoma and lung can­cer, but only af­ter chemo­ther­apy.

The com­pa­nies have been try­ing to find ways to ex­pand their use. Stud­ies re­leased Sun­day at the European So­ci­ety for Med­i­cal On­col­ogy Congress found Op­divo did not do bet­ter than chemo­ther­apy treat­ment for some pa­tients. Mean­while, a study of Merck’s Keytruda found it no­tably re­duced the risk of death or can­cer pro­gres­sion.

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