(Adds details on study, shares)
Feb 5 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Monday its immunotherapy Opdivo met the main goal of a much-awaited trial in patients with a common type of lung cancer and the drugmaker reported adjusted earnings just ahead of analysts' expectations.
The company said Opdivo in combination with its own drug Yervoy met the main goal of helping first-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients live longer without the disease progressing.
Bristol-Myers' shares were trading up 3 percent before the bell.
Opdivo is going head to head with rival drugs from Merck & Co, Roche and Astrazeneca in the multibillion-dollar cancer immunotherapy market.
Fourth-quarter net loss attributable came in at $2.33 billion compared with a year-ago profit of $894 million, as the drugmaker took a $2.9 billion charge.
Excluding one-time items, the company said it earned 68 cents per share in the quarter ended Dec. 31, analysts were expecting 67 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
An independent committee recommended that the study continue, based on an interim analysis for another main goal - overall survival, or helping patients survive longer while on the treatment, the company added.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto)