Summit Therapeutics cancer therapy succeeds in late-stage China study

(Reuters) -Summit Therapeutics said on Thursday its experimental therapy to treat patients with a type of lung cancer met the main goal of a late-stage study conducted in China, sending its shares soaring 177%.

The company said its therapy showed statistically significant improvement compared to Merck's Keytruda in a head-to-head setting.

The study sponsored by Akeso showed the therapy, ivonescimab, had clinically meaningful improvement in the main goal of progression free survival compared to Keytruda.

The company was testing the therapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, a disease in which malignant cancer cells form in the tissues of the lung.

The therapy is an antibody designed to block a protein called PD-1, which helps the body's immune system to fend off cancer.

Shares of the company more than doubled to $8.70, while those of Merck slipped 0.87%.

(Reporting by Sneha S K in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)