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Renita Jablonski: The most important meeting of the year for cancer researchers opens today in Chicago. There’s particular interest in a new medication for lung cancer. Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.
Janet Babin: The new drug is called Erbitux, made by biotech company ImClone. It’s already used to treat colon, head and neck cancer.
The company says Erbitux can also boost survival in patients with certain types of lung cancer. It’ll release key trial results this weekend at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.
Wachovia analyst George Farmer is eager to see the details:
George Farmer: Everyone is looking at this data very keenly to see the benefit that Erbitux could provide. This could have great impact on how drugs like Erbitux are used in treating front-line lung cancer.
If the trial results are dramatic, prescriptions for Erbitux could explode. That would benefit ImClone and its partner, Bristol-Myers.
But it could hurt Genentech. It makes Avastin, a different type of lung cancer drug.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., and costs billions of dollars each year to treat.
I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.