Bristol-Myers Squibb‘s stock market value dropped $20 billion on Friday (approximately 16 percent) after the company’s blockbuster cancer drug failed to extend its usage for lung cancer patients in a key study.
Opdivo, Bristol’s cancer drug, is already approved to treat melanoma and lung cancer—though, only after chemotherapy. It is intended to bolster the immune system so that patients can better fight cancer.” Costing approximately $12,900 each month (per patient), the treatment was originally approved in 2014 to treat melanoma, but U.S. regulators have expanded its use to include “patients whose lung cancer worsened after trying chemotherapy, as well as patients with kidney cancer and a type of lymphoma,” an article in The Wall Street Journal reports.
In June, Merck reported positive results from a key study focusing on Keytruda as a lone treatment for lung cancer. The negative results from Bristol appear to put Merck in the lead for treating cancer patients without resorting to chemotherapy and its drastic side effects.
The Wall Street Journal says this setback “could provide an opening for rival Merck,” as the company’s shares jumped up 8 percent on Friday.
Meanwhile, shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. went from $63.28 to $12.04.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery