Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and AbbVie will collaborate on a clinical trial combining both companies’ checkpoint inhibitors to treat relapsed extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
The Phase 1/2 clinical trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of BMS’s Opdivo and Opdivo + Yervoy in conjunction with AbbVie’s antibody therapy Rova-T.
Both Opdivo regimens alleviate immune suppression while Rova-T works by eradicating cells responsible for tumor growth, according a statement released by both firms.
The purpose of this experiment is to see if Rova-T’s targeted cell killing capabilities and antigen release could boost Opdivo’s immunotherapy features.
“We believe the combination of these cancer-fighting agents may offer patients a new treatment option in a disease with limited therapies,” said Scott J. Dylla, Ph.D., vice president, research and development, AbbVie, in a statement.
“By combining immune-checkpoint inhibitors that prime the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells with Rova-T’s approach to target cancer stem cells, we hope to build on our goal to develop differentiated treatments with therapeutic benefit that elevate the standard of care for small cell lung cancer patients,” he explained.
AbbVie’s candidate has shown positive early results for SCLC. The company spent $5.8 billion to acquire the startup, Stemcentrx that manufactured Rova-T, in May.
Results from this clinical trial raised the average survival rate of SCLC by only a month. Analysts saw more promise regarding the lung cancer data, published by BMS, unveiled at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in June, reported FiercePharma.
Opdivo + Yervoy produced a higher response rate in 57 percent of patients, which was more than double the rate Opdivo yielded in a lung cancer trial.
BMS has a lot of faith in Opdivo. It struck another clinical trial collaboration with Janssen to combine Opdivo with the company’s Phase I Live Attenuated Double–Deleted (LADD) Listerial monocytogenes cancer immunotherapy. The goal is to monitor the tolerability and clinical acitivity of this regimen in patients with non-small cell lung cancer patients.
Patient enrollment for the combination trial with AbbVie is scheduled to begin this year.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery