UPDATE 1-Merck‘s Keytruda succeeds in late-stage lung…

UPDATE 1-Merck‘s Keytruda succeeds in late-stage lung cancer study

May 23 (Reuters) – Merck & Co on Wednesday said its cancer drug Keytruda helped extend survival and prevented disease progression when tested in a late-stage study in combination with chemotherapy for a type of lung cancer.

Keytruda is being studied as a as a first-line treatment for metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer patients. The combination therapy met its main trial goals when compared to patients who were on chemotherapy alone.

Keytruda is the only immunotherapy approved in the United States to treat lung cancer patients who have not received prior treatment.

Merck has been expanding its position into the lung cancer market through Keytruda. Also jockeying for a piece of the lucrative market are drugmakers such as Bristol-Myers Squibb , Roche and AstraZeneca that are advancing their rival immunotherapies.

Merck said the new data will be shared with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as part of its push to expand the drug‘s label.

The data would be presented at an upcoming medical conference, the company said. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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