ImClone Systems inc. announced Tuesday that the cancer drug Erbitux showed positive results, meeting its goal of increased survival rates of patients with advanced lung cancer.

The late-stage study of the drug was made on patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, the most common type of the disease. It compared the combination of chemotherapy and Erbitux, with chemotherapy alone.

Erbitux is already approved to treat colon, head and neck cancer.

News of the results sents hares of Imclone (Nasdaq: IMCL) up $6.97, or 18.9 percent to $44.90 at the end or regular trading.

Shares of and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY), which markets Erbitux in the U.S. rose 23 cents, or 0.82 percent, to reach $28.28 at the close of Tuesday trading.

The news of a potential new application for the drug was a welcome development for Erbitux’s international distributor Merck Serono.

Non-small cell lung cancer that has spread from the primary site is extremely difficult to treat so we are delighted with these results, said Merck’s chief of oncology, Wolfgan Wein in a statement.