Bristol's Opdivo-Yervoy combo fails to top Opdivo in adjuvant melanoma

opdivo
BMS' Opdivo is approved solo to treat melanoma patients in the adjuvant setting. (Bristol-Myers Squibb)

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo-Yervoy combo has changed the game in late-stage melanoma, but it's hit a roadblock in expanding to post-surgery treatment.

In patients with advanced cancer but no evidence of disease after surgery, and with levels of biomarker PD-L1 checking in below 1%, the duo couldn’t top solo Opdivo at staving off recurrence, BMS said Wednesday.

But the study, dubbed Checkmate-915, isn’t over. The company is also testing the pair against Opdivo in the all-comer population—i.e., patients with any level of PD-L1—to see whether two drugs are better than one in preventing recurrence among other patients.

Survey

Veeva 2020 Unified Clinical Operations Survey

We believe you have the knowledge and expertise to make this year's Veeva 2020 Clinical Operations Report even more robust and insightful than the last. Please take a moment to share your opinion in this 10-minute survey. All qualified respondents will be entered to win a $500 Amazon gift card.

RELATED: Bristol-Myers' Opdivo gets into high gear for new melanoma approval

The company has reason to believe they might be. Opdivo and its fellow members of the PD-1/L1 class have shown that in some disease settings, they work better among patients with higher levels of the protein.

For now, though, the news is a dent in BMS’ plans to extend the pair’s melanoma reach—and to boost its revenue potential in the adjuvant setting. Right now, Opdivo and Yervoy together bear a green light only in patients whose melanoma is metastatic or can’t be surgically removed, and only solo Opdivo has the FDA’s OK for adjuvant therapy.

In a hyper-competitive immuno-oncology marketplace, melanoma has been a cornerstone of Opdivo’s sales—particularly as it's stumbled in lung cancer, considered the most lucrative disease-area for the drug and its rivals.

RELATED: ESMO: A 50% cure rate in melanoma? Long-term stats show Opdivo-Yervoy can do it: expert

And in September, BMS added more evidence to support use of its cancer-fighting combo in advanced melanoma. At the European Society for Medical Oncology annual meeting, the New Jersey drugmaker presented data showing that Opdivo and Yervoy had kept more than half of patients in the Checkmate-067 study alive for five years.

Suggested Articles

Amid Amgen's pricing war with Sanofi and Regeneron's Praluent, PCSK9 cholesterol fighter Repatha has shown a clinical benefit for HIV patients.

A month after the FDA approved it, Esperion's Nexletol showed it can lower cholesterol regardless of statin and ezitimibe treatment.

AstraZeneca's Farxiga can help prevent worsening or death in heart failure patients regardless of other therapies received, according to new data.