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Bristol-Myers Shares Rise on Melanoma Drug Study

March 22, 2011
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The Associated Press reports that shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. rose Tuesday morning following an announcement that the company''s highly anticipated melanoma drug improved survival times when used as a first-line treatment against advanced skin cancer. Analysts boosted their sales expectations for the drug, known as ipilimumab, based on the company''s report. Citi Investment Research analyst John Boris estimates ipilimumab could reach total sales of $960 million by 2015. Boris has a "Buy" rating on Bristol''s stock with a $30 price target. Bristol shares rose 77 cents, or 2.96 percent, to $26.77 in morning trading. Last year ipilimumab became the first drug to improve survival in melanoma patients, as shown in a study of patients who had already failed two other drugs. On average, patients taking the drug lived four months longer. The Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing the drug and is scheduled to issue a decision later this week.

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