TARIS Biomedical and Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that the companies have entered into a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of TARIS’ investigational product, TAR-200 (GemRIS™), in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s programmed death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor, Opdivo (nivolumab). The Phase 1b trial will evaluate the combination in patients with Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (MIBC) who are scheduled for radical cystectomy. In conjunction with this collaboration, Bristol-Myers Squibb also made an equity investment in TARIS.
Bladder cancer affects more than 2.7 million patients worldwide, and is among one of the most expensive types of cancers to treat on a per-patient lifetime basis. Few options are available to treat MIBC, which often may metastasize and leads to death.
“This is the first study evaluating the potential benefits of combining TAR-200 with a systemically administered immune checkpoint inhibitor,” said Purnanand Sarma, Ph.D., president and CEO of TARIS. “MIBC is a potentially lethal disease with high unmet clinical need. We are excited to partner with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a world-leader in oncology, to advance approaches that may provide meaningful benefit to patients.”
“We continue to explore multiple approaches to treating cancer as part of our broad research program focused on delivering the next wave of oncology therapies,” said Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of development, Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Partnering with TARIS will allow us to advance our scientific understanding of combining Opdivo with continuous local chemotherapy as we seek to improve outcomes for patients with this aggressive form of bladder cancer.”
About TARIS System and TAR-200 (GemRIS™)
The TARIS® System is designed to continuously release drugs in the bladder over weeks to months. It is deployed and retrieved using minimally-invasive, in-office procedures. TAR-200 is TARIS Biomedical’s lead investigational program in bladder cancer, and is designed to release the chemotherapeutic agent gemcitabine continuously in the bladder over seven days.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery