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Sales of an immunotherapy made by Merck jumped in the fourth quarter after the company was given the green light to use the medicine in some untreated lung cancer patients.
The company generated $483m of revenues from Keytruda in the final three months of 2016, an increase of 36 per cent on the prior quarter and up 125 per cent versus a year ago, reports David Crow in New York.
Merck published sales figures for Keytruda as it announced adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter that were in line with analyst expectations at 89 cents per share.
However, revenues of $10.12bn were about $100m shy of the typical Wall Street forecast.
Shares in Merck were unchanged in pre-market trading.