Incyte, Merck shares slide after melanoma therapy fails study


Emile Wamsteker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pedestrians walk across the street from a Merck & Co. facility in Summit, New Jersey

Incyte said on Friday an independent committee concluded that its drug for a type of skin cancer in combination with Merck‘s Keytruda failed to meet the main goal in a late-stage study.

Incyte shares fell 20 percent in premarket trading Friday, while Merck shares were down about 2 percent.

The two companies would stop the study as it did not meet the primary goal of improving progression-free survival compared to patients on Keytruda monotherapy.

Merck’s Keytruda is approved for the treating several forms of cancer, including lung cancer and advanced melanoma. The companies said the study’s second main goal of overall survival was also not expected to reach a statistical significance.

The study was evaluating a combination of Incyte’s inhibitor Epacadostat and Merck’s Keytruda for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.

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