Merck reports positive results for late-stage trial comparing its Keytruda against Bristol-Myers' Yervoy -- MarketWatch

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Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) said premarket Friday that a late-stage clinical trial comparing its cancer drug Keytruda to Bristol-Myers Squibb's [: BMY] cancer drug Yervoy found patients on Keytruda had better results. The trial, which enrolled 834 patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma who were either new to treatment or had received one prior treatment, found that treatment with Keytruda was associated with a 30% improvement in survival. About half of patients on Keytruda remained alive nearly three years after starting the therapy, the company said, compared with 39% of patients on Yervoy. The company also reported that Keytruda nearly doubled the progression-free survival rate at nearly three years, with 31% of patients on Keytruda surviving without disease progression, compared to 14% of patients on Yervoy. The results are scheduled to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting on Sunday. Merck shares were not active in premarket trade. Shares have declined 1.2% over the last three months, compared with a 4.1% decline in Bristol-Myers shares and a 2% rise in the S&P 500 .

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June 02, 2017 08:04 ET (12:04 GMT)