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Roche lung cancer drug success adds to pressure on competitors

Photo Credit: Genentech

Lung cancer patients on pharma company, Roche’s, immune system-boosting drug Tecentriq lived on average 4.2 months longer than those taking chemotherapy reported a pivotal study. This news has pressured Bristol-Myers Squibb’s dominant position in the industry.

The study results were presented at the annual European Society of Medical Oncology congress on Sunday.

Bristol’s Opdivo is currently the only drug approved without a test for a specific protein called PD-L1 for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Competitor Merc & Co’s Keytruda requires a test.

Regulators in the U.S. are due to decide on the approval of Tecentriq for the treatment of lung cancer by Oct 19. Tecentriq has already been approved for the treatment of bladder cancer.

Tecentriq, Opdivo, and Keytruda are the first of a highly promising class of immunotherapy drugs that are revolutionizing cancer treatment and are tipped to generate huge sales. Lung cancer, the biggest cancer killer globally, is the top commercial opportunity.

Read the full story from Reuters here.

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