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UPDATE 1-Bristol-Myers kidney cancer drug meets main goal of late-stage trial

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Sept 7 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Thursday its combination therapy of its two top drugs to treat a type of kidney cancer met one of the main goals of a late-stage trial.

The drugmaker said the combination of Opdivo and Yervoy showed superior overall survival rates in previously untreated patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma than patients given a standard-of-care drug sunitinib.

Last month, the company said the combination treatment had failed to improve progression-free survival in patients in the same late-stage trial, but had met one of the other main goal of objective response rate.

The trial was continued to evaluate the third main goal, the success of which Bristol-Myers reported on Thursday.

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.

Bristol-Myers has been under pressure from activist investors after falling behind Merck & Co Inc in the key field of immuno-oncology following Opdivo's failure to prolong survival in previously untreated patients with non-small cell lung cancer, the largest cancer market.

U.S. health regulators had, on Wednesday, placed a partial hold on three trials testing Opdivo in combination with other medicines for multiple myeloma due to risks seen in similar studies involving a rival drug.

Bristol-Myers shares were marginally higher in premarket trading on Thursday. (Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)