Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. surged 2.4% in premarket trade Thursday, after the drug giant said a trial investigating the use of its lung cancer treatment met its primary endpoint. Merck said Keytruda was superior to chemotherapy for progression-free survival, the primary endpoint, and for the secondary endpoint of overall survival. As a result, an independent data monitoring committee has recommended the Keynote-024 trial be stopped and patients receiving chemotherapy be offered Keytruda. "We believe that the KEYNOTE-024 results have the potential to change the therapeutic paradigm in first-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer," said Roger Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories. The stock has climbed 6.2% year to date through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 1.2%.
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