Jump to content

Drug May Help Lung Cancer Patients


Recommended Posts

Drug May Help Lung Cancer Patients

By DAMIAN J. TROISE – 7 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — ImClone Systems Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. claimed Tuesday that the drug Erbitux improved the survival rate of patients with the most common type of lung cancer in a late-stage study. ImClone shares jumped 21 percent.

The drug, already approved to treat colon cancer and head and neck cancer, was given to patients with advanced, non-small cell lung cancer in combination with chemotherapy treatment. The study compared the combination to chemotherapy alone.

The non-small cell type accounts for the overwhelming majority of cases of lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women in the U.S., with 160,000 deaths estimated in 2007.

More detailed results of the study will be presented at a yet-to-be-disclosed medical conference.

Wall Street maintained a positive outlook for the company, with several analysts saying the new late-stage, or Phase III, Erbitux results were unexpected.

Shares of ImClone jumped $7.88 to $45.81 in Tuesday trading and reached a 52-week high of $47.22 earlier in the trading session.

"Phase III Erbitux data in front-line lung cancer are a clear positive," said Morgan Stanley analyst Steven Harr, upgrading the company's stock to "Equal Weight" from "Underweight" in a note to investors. He said the company's earnings could double over the next five years because of the these results.

Still, the drug would face competition from Genentech Inc.'s Avastin, said Citigroup analyst Dr. Yaron Werber.

And in July, ImClone said Erbitux failed a separate late-stage study focusing on lung cancer, in which Erbitux was combined with different chemotherapy drugs. The goal was for approval as an initial treatment for spreading non-small cell lung cancer. The company and Wall Street have since cited the study design for its failure.

"Given recent disappointing data, we do not believe that Erbitux will unseat Genentech's Avastin in this setting," Werber wrote, reaffirming a "Hold" rating, but raising Erbitux sales estimates for 2008 to 2010.

Erbitux is co-promoted in North America with Bristol-Myers.

In August, ImClone named former Johnson & Johnson executive John H. Johnson as its new chief executive. The position had been open since last year, when Carl Icahn won control of the company and became chairman of the board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.