Bristol Myers' Opdivo with Exelixis drug cuts kidney cancer death risk - study

FILE PHOTO: Logo of global biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb is pictured on the blouse of an employee in Le Passage

The drug combination also doubled patients' median length of time before their cancer began to worsen to 16.6 months compared to progression-free survival of 8.3 months for patients treated with the chemotherapy sunitinib, an older Pfizer Inc drug sold under the brand name Sutent.

He noted that the oncology community is already familiar with both drugs and that the combination demonstrated positive results on all the study's goals.

The Phase III study of 651 patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma was being presented as part of the European Society for Medical Oncology meeting being held virtually this year.

Researchers said the safety of the combination was manageable and consistent with the side effect profile of the two drugs when used individually.

The new data could help boost sales that have slowed in recent years as Opdivo was eclipsed by Merck & Co’s rival drug Keytruda.

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