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Bristol-Myers’ multiple myeloma combo therapy fails study

(Reuters) – Bristol Myers Squibb Co said on Monday its combination therapy for multiple myeloma failed the main goal of improving progression-free survival in newly diagnosed patients during a late-stage study.

The combination of the company’s Empliciti, Celgene Corp’s Revlimid and common anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone failed to show statistically significant results, in comparison to a combination of Revlimid and dexamethasone.

Bristol Myers gained access to Revlimid through its $74 billion buyout of Celgene last year.

Shares of Bristol Myers were trading down 4.7% at $57.50 premarket, amid broader market weakness after Saudi Arabia launched a price war with Russia and the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The triple combination from Bristol Myers was first approved in 2015 for treating patients whose cancer had relapsed or those who did not respond to available therapies. Empliciti was co-developed with drugmaker AbbVie Inc.

Bristol Myers said although it was disappointed with the initial study results, it would complete a full evaluation of the data and present results at a future medical meeting.

Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that starts in plasma cells in bone marrow and ultimately disrupts the production of normal blood cells.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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