Johnson and Johnson’s new drug Zytiga has been shown to improve survival of men with last stage prostate cancer who have not received chemotherapy, in a phase III clinical trial.

The drug was approved by US regulators last year to be used in combination with prednisone to treat men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have already tried chemotherapy.

The double-blinded study involved 1088 patients who were randomised to receive Zytiga plus prednisone or placebo plus prednisone.

The Independent Data Monitoring Committee unanimously recommended that patients receiving a placebo in the trial be offered treatment with Zytiga, the company said.

Janseen R&D global head William Hait said, "The COU-AA-302 study has been a key priority for us as we expand our understanding of the utility of Zytiga in metastatic prostate cancer.

"We’re delighted that these data will soon be added to the growing body of literature about this important medication."

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