Bristol-Myers’ latest PD-1 win could pave the path to earlier use

Bristol Myers-Squibb ($BMY), a leader among companies at work in immuno-oncology, is pressing for wider use of its lead treatment with new data showing the injected drug could succeed as part of a first-line treatment in lung cancer.

In a Phase Ib study, a combination of Bristol-Myers’ immunotherapies Opdivo and Yervoy charted overall response rates as high as 39% when administered to patients with non-small cell lung cancer who hadn’t yet received chemotherapy. Median progression-free survival ranged from 4.9 months to 10.6 months across the study’s treatment groups, the company said, and combining the two agents demonstrated a similar safety profile to Opdivo alone.

Bristol-Myers tested four dosing regimens of Opdivo, which blocks the protein PD-1, and Yervoy, which targets CTLA-4, laying the groundwork for an ongoing Phase III trial designed to win approval for first-line use in chemo-naive patients. That study, which began in June, is designed to enroll nearly 2,000 patients and determine whether Bristol-Myers’ combo can prolong survival better than chemo in NSCLC.[…]

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