(Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Tuesday its combination drug to treat previously untreated patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer, failed to meet one of the main goals of a late-stage trial.
The drugmaker's shares were down 3.4 percent at $55.90 in after-hours trading.
The combination of Bristol-Myers' two top drugs — Opdivo and Yervoy — was not statistically significant in improving progression-free survival in patients, when compared with standard-of-care drug sunitinib.
The drugmaker has been under pressure from activist investors after falling behind Merck & Co Inc in the key field of immuno-oncology after its Opdivo drug failed to prolong survival in previously untreated patients with non-small cell lung cancer, the largest cancer market.
Merck's rival drug, Keytruda, improved the survival rate as a front-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.
Bristol-Myers said on Tuesday the combination therapy met one of the main goals of the study. The trial would continue to evaluate the treatment for another primary goal of overall survival.
Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, accounting for more than 100,000 deaths worldwide each year, the company said.
(Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)