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Bristol Myers' (BMY) CNS Phase III Cancer Study on Opdivo Fails

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Bristol Myers Squibb’s (BMY - Free Report) phase III study evaluating its PD-L1 inhibitor, Opdivo, in newly diagnosed glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer of the central nervous system (CNS), failed to meet goals.

The CheckMate -548 study evaluated the addition of immuno-oncology drug, Opdivo (nivolumab), to the current standard of care (temozolomide and radiation therapy) versus placebo plus the standard of care in patients with newly diagnosedMGMT-methylated glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) following surgical resection of the tumor.GBM is the most aggressive type of cancer that begins within the brain.

Shares of the company have decreased 2% against the industry’s growth of 11.1%.

An independent data monitoring committee (DMC), on a routine review, informed the company that the study will not meet its primary endpoint of overall survival in patients with no baseline corticosteroid use or in the overall randomized population. The DMC, however,stated that no safety concerns were observed in patients treated with Opdivo that justified stopping the study. Earlier in September 2019, the study did not meet its other primary endpoint of progression-free survival in all randomized patients.

On the basis of the recommendation provided by the DMC, the investigators will be unblinded to the treatment assignments of patients enrolled in the study.

We note that Opdivo is marketed for several cancer indications. The drug reported sales of $5,199 million in the first nine months of 2020, reflecting a decrease of 4% year over year.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Bristol Myers currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Aerpio Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (ARPO - Free Report) , Alkermes Plc. (ALKS - Free Report) and Alimera Sciences Inc. (ALIM - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Aerpio’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from 15 cents to 14 cents for 2020 and from 63 cents to 57 cents for 2021 over the past 60 days. Share price of the company has increased 70% year to date.

Alkermes’ earnings per share estimates have increased from 10 cents to 39 cents for 2020 and from 46 cents to 52 cents for 2021 over the past 60 days. Share price of the company has increased 4.2% year to date.

Alimera’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from $1.31 to 96 cents for 2020 over the past 60 days.

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