A new drug to assist the body’s immune system in fighting cancer cells is being tested and is showing promise against advanced lung tumors. The drug’s developer, Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co. (BMY) received U.S. approval in March 2011, and is leading the charge of at least five other companies.
Initial trials involved 240 patients, and it shrunk tumors in 24 of 95 melanoma patients, 10 of 33 kidney cancer patients, and 13 of 75 of patients with advanced lung cancer. The drug may eventually be used in combination with chemotherapy, utilizing its immune system assault capability, according to Leerink Swann & Co. analyst Seamus Fernandez.
The preliminary results have shown enough promise that Bristol-Meyers is planning to skip the second of three development stages to move directly into the final human trials stage. The lung and kidney trials will start later this year, and the melanoma trial will start by early 2013.
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The amount of time, money, and research that has been devoted to battling cancer has finally yielded early results, giving hope to many patients and family members.
As such a large medical problem, a more effective treatment will almost guarantee a large increase in drug sales for the developers that finalize a treatment.
Use Kapitall tools to analyze Bristol-Meyers and the companies that they are competing with. Do you think they will pull through with the final product?
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in market cap for BMY, MRK, GSK, and TEVA:
Interactive Chart: Use the Turbo Chart to compare the stock performance of BMY and MRK against the performance of the S&P 500 Index (SPX):
(Written by Danny Guttridge)