AP News

Correction: Bristol-Myers-Stock

NEW YORK (AP) — In a story Feb. 10 about Bristol-Myers Squibb's stock activity, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Merck and Bristol-Myers are studying drug regimens that include Merck's drug MK-3475. The story also should have said that Bristol-Myers isn't ready to start late-stage testing for the combination of its drugs Yervoy and nivolumab as a lung cancer treatment. The company is running a late-stage trial for a combination of the drugs as an advanced melanoma treatment. Additionally, the first sentence of the story should have used the plural version of the word drugs.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Bristol-Myers rises following analyst upgrade

Bristol-Myers rises as analyst says company has a promising group of cancer immune therapies

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. rose Monday after a BMO Capital Markets analyst upgraded the stock, saying Bristol-Myers has a promising group of cancer drugs.

Analyst Alex Arfaei raised his rating to "Outperform" from "Market Perform" and lifted his price target to $60 per share from $56. Arfaei said expectations for the company have come down, but he said Bristol-Myers has a strong pipeline of drugs that use the immune system to fight cancer. Those include its experimental drug nivolumab.

Nivolumab is part of a new class of drugs called PD-1, or programmed death, therapies. The drugs allow the body's immune system to target hidden tumor cells.

On Wednesday, Merck said it formed partnerships with three other companies to study a PD-1 therapy called MK-3475 in combination with other drugs. Arfaei said the deal shows that drug companies believe there is a lot of potential in combination drug regimens that target PD-1, and he said Bristol-Myers has the most promising candidates. Bristol-Myers is not involved in the deal with Merck.

New York-based Bristol-Myers' top-selling drugs include the cancer treatment Yervoy, anti-psychotic Abilify and HIV treatment Sustiva.

The company has been studying a combination of Yervoy and nivolumab. It is studying the regimen as a treatment for advanced melanoma, but said in January that it wasn't ready to start late-stage trials of the drugs as a treatment for lung cancer. Both Yervoy and nivolumab use the immune system to fight cancer.

Bristol-Myers Squibb shares added $1.79, or 3.6 percent, to close at $52.12. The stock is down about 2 percent in 2014.

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