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Bristol Myers' Opdivo succeeds in late-stage lung cancer trial

The logo of U.S. drugmaker Bristol Myers Squibb. via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Bristol Myers Squibb Co BMY.N said on Wednesday its cancer drug Opdivo plus chemotherapy helped more patients with a form of lung cancer become free of the disease versus chemotherapy alone in a late-stage trial. Significantly more non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients receiving Opdivo and chemotherapy before surgery showed no evidence of cancer cells in their resected tissue, the company said.

The combination of Britol’s Opdivo and Yervoy is already approved for treating patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

Bristol said the trial is ongoing to assess the other main goal of evaluating the length of time after primary treatment that the patient remains free of complications.

Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for about 85% of lung cancer cases, making it a lucrative market, which is currently dominated by Merck & Co's MRK.N rival drug Keytruda.

Opdivo spurs the immune system to fight cancer and is one of Bristol’s top-selling drugs.

The company’s shares were up 1% at $58.38 before the bell.

Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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