(Reuters) – Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Thursday the success of its combination therapy to improve overall survival in kidney cancer patients helped it end the trial well ahead of schedule, despite earlier reporting mixed results on other main goals.
The company said a combination of Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (Ipilimumab) not available though the NHS in the UK as yet)), its two main drugs, showed superior overall survival rates than a standard-of-care drug in previously untreated patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
Last month, Bristol-Myers said the combination treatment had failed to improve progression-free survival in patients, but had succeeded in reducing the size of their tumors.
“We believe the overall survival benefit likely confirms the durability of the signal seen on progression-free survival, leading to a very high likelihood of approval,” Leerink Research analyst Seamus Fernandez wrote in a client note.
The trials to monitor overall survival rates were to run through the second half of 2019, according to Cowen and Co.