Experimental Drug Shown To Improve Survival Rates For Late-Stage Lung Cancer Patients.
(Reuters) – Treatment of a common form of advanced lung cancer with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s experimental immunotherapy nivolumab led to a one-year survival rate of 41 percent in a midstage clinical trial, according to data to be presented at a medical meeting, sending the drugmaker’s shares up 8.8 percent.
While the study, called CheckMate-063, did not compare nivolumab with another drug or placebo, the historical one-year survival rate for patients like those in the trial, whose squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) had progressed after treatment with two or more prior therapies, is between 5.5 percent and 18 percent, the company said on Thursday. Squamous cell cancer tends to be found in the middle of the lung.
“The data today look very, very good,” ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum said, adding that it bodes well for an ongoing Phase III trial in NSCLC patients following just one prior therapy.
He had estimated a 1-year survival rate of about 20 percent as the number to beat.
Nivolumab belongs to a new class of drugs called PD-1 inhibitors that have generated great excitement in the medical community. They work by blocking a tumor’s ability to camouflage itself, allowing the body’s immune system to recognize and attack the cancer.More