Merck says melanoma drug meets goal; study halted

March 24, 2015 12:55 PM

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(Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc said on Tuesday that it would stop a large study of its Keytruda melanoma treatment early because an independent monitoring committee determined the drug succeeded in its goal of prolonging survival in previously untreated patients at advanced stage of the disease.

The medicine, a PD-1 inhibitor that works by taking the brakes off the immune system, is already approved to treat patients who have failed to benefit from standard treatments, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's Yervoy.

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