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EU Panel Backs Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy Cancer Drug

Date : 05/20/2011 @ 10:27AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY)
Quote : 50.475  -0.175 (-0.35%) @ 2:47PM
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EU Panel Backs Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy Cancer Drug

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s (BMY) cancer drug Yervoy received backing Friday from European regulators.

The European Medicines Agency, or EMA, said its Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, recommended approval of the drug, also called ipilimumab and which helps patients with advanced melanoma live longer.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is hard to treat once it has spread to other parts of the body. In Europe, about 67,500 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year.

The European Commission will decide by August whether to grant Yervoy marketing approval. Recommendations by the panel are usually backed by the block's executive body.

U.S. regulators approved Yervoy in March.

"Despite the rising incidence of melanoma across Europe, no new treatment options have been approved in more than a decade. Receiving a positive opinion for Yervoy from the CHMP represents an important milestone for scientific advance in this disease area." Ron Cooper, president of Bristol-Myers Squibb Europe said in a statement.

"We believe that immune-therapy represents the next era of cancer fighting treatments and we are dedicated to addressing the grave and unmet medical need in melanoma," said Magnus Jaderberg, chief medical officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb Europe.

-By Sten Stovall, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9292; sten.stovall@dowjones.com



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