Bristol-Myers shares edged higher Monday after the group said a new cancer treatment, which it acquired through its $74 billion takeover of Celgene Corp., had solid results from an early clinical trial.
Bristol-Myers said a study presented to the American Society of Hematology Conference in Orlando, Florida showed a 53% complete response rate for patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma treated with liso-cel. The new treatment, a so-called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, or " CAR-T" therapy, was acquired from the immunotherapy portfolio of Celgene last year.
Bristol-Myers said it would apply for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the liso-cel treatment before the end of the year.
“These pivotal longer-term results continue to give us confidence in the clinical profile of liso-cel. Importantly, these results were demonstrated in a study with more than 250 patients in a broad population reflective of clinical practice, including those with poor prognoses and a range of histologies,” said Bristol-Myers' Stanley Frankel. “We look forward to providing these data to support the regulatory approval for this treatment option for these patients with large B-cell lymphomas.”
Bristol-Myers shares were marked 2,12% higher in early Monday afternoon trading to change hands at $61.22 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month gain to around 33% and bump it 15% higher than where it was trading prior to the January 3 announcement of the Celgene takeover.
The liso-cel results could prove noteworthy for both Bristol-Myers, which saw sales growth of its blockbuster cancer treatment Opdivo slow to 1.3% last quarter with a topline of $1.817 billion, and Celgene, whose investors will receive an extra payment of $9 per share if three of its early-stage drugs, including liso-cel, get FDA approval.