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Roche on Wednesday said a two-drug combination that includes a novel but still experimental checkpoint-blocking immunotherapy significantly delayed tumor progression in a mid-stage study of non-small cell lung cancer patients.

Reaction to the results might be muted, however, because the new combination treatment — tiragolumab plus Tecentriq — only showed a meaningful benefit in a subset of lung cancer patients. That profile makes it unlikely to compete against Merck’s dominant Keytruda-chemotherapy combination.

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