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Merck & Co shares rise thanks to success of Phase 3 lung cancer trial

Patients treated with Keytruda lived significantly longer than those who received chemotherapy

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The blockbuster drug treats metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer

Shares in pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) inched up by 3.2% in pre-market trading on news that a Phase 3 trial that evaluated its cancer drug Keytruda helped patients with untreated lung cancer survive longer.

Indeed, the patients who were treated with Keytruda as part of the study lived significantly longer than those who received so-called platinum-based chemotherapy.

Keytruda a blockbuster drug for Merck

“Keytruda has now shown a significant survival benefit compared with chemotherapy for patients with locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamos or squamos non small-cell lung cancer expressing PD-L1 at 1 percent or higher by tumor proportion score,” said Dr Roger M Permutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories, in a statement.

Keytruda is a blockbuster drug for Merck for the treatment of metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. It has consistently demonstrated a survival benefit as a monotherapy, or in combination with chemotherapy, in the treatment of metastatic lung cancer.

In pre-market trade, Merck shares rose 3% to US$54.74.

Quick facts: Merck & Co., Inc.

Price: 89.1 USD

NYSE:MRK
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $226.85 billion
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