Bristol Myers Squibb Announces Acceptance of U.S. and EU Regulatory Filings for Opdivo (nivolumab) Plus Yervoy (ipilimumab) Combined with Limited Chemotherapy in First-Line Lung Cancer

FDA application granted Priority Review designation with PDUFA date of August 6, 2020

Submissions based on results from Phase 3 CheckMate -9LA trial

PRINCETON, NJ, USA I April 08, 2020 IBristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted its supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Opdivo (nivolumab) plus Yervoy (ipilimumab), administered concomitantly with a limited course of chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations. The FDA granted this application Priority Review with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date of August 6, 2020, in addition to granting Fast Track designation.

Additionally, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) validated a type II variation application for Opdivo plus Yervoy, combined with limited chemotherapy, for the same indication. Validation of the application confirms the submission is complete and begins the EMA’s centralized review process. This follows an announcement on March 26, 2020 that Ono Pharmaceutical Co., in partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb, submitted a supplemental application for Opdivo plus Yervoy combined with limited chemotherapy for consideration of manufacturing and marketing approval in Japan.

The applications were based on results from the Phase 3 CheckMate -9LA trial. In October 2019, the company announced the trial met its primary endpoint of superior overall survival (OS) at a pre-specified interim analysis.

“Despite treatment advances, there remains a serious unmet need for additional innovative treatment options for lung cancer patients globally,” said Sabine Maier, M.D., development lead, thoracic cancers, Bristol Myers Squibb. “The FDA’s acceptance and EMA’s validation of our applications represent important milestones for patients with lung cancer, and we look forward to working with regulatory authorities to bring the first and only dual immunotherapy plus limited chemotherapy regimen to patients as soon as possible.”

About CheckMate -9LA

CheckMate -9LA is an open-label, multi-center, randomized Phase 3 trial evaluating Opdivo (360 mg Q3W) plus Yervoy (1 mg/kg Q6W) combined with chemotherapy (two cycles) compared to chemotherapy alone (up to four cycles followed by optional pemetrexed maintenance therapy if eligible) as a first-line treatment in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) regardless of PD-L1 expression and histology. Patients in the experimental arm were treated for up to two years or until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Patients in the control arm were treated with up to four cycles of chemotherapy and optional pemetrexed maintenance (if eligible) until disease progression or toxicity. The primary endpoint of the trial was overall survival (OS) in the intent-to-treat population. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), overall response rate (ORR) and efficacy measures according to biomarkers.

About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally. The two main types of lung cancer are non-small cell and small cell. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the most common types of lung cancer and accounts for up to 84% of diagnoses. Survival rates vary depending on the stage and type of the cancer when diagnosed. For patients diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer, the five-year survival rate is approximately 5%.

Bristol Myers Squibb: Advancing Cancer Research

At Bristol Myers Squibb, patients are at the center of everything we do. The goal of our cancer research is to increase quality, long-term survival and make cure a possibility. We harness our deep scientific experience, cutting-edge technologies and discovery platforms to discover, develop and deliver novel treatments for patients.

Building upon our transformative work and legacy in hematology and Immuno-Oncology that has changed survival expectations for many cancers, our researchers are advancing a deep and diverse pipeline across multiple modalities. In the field of immune cell therapy, this includes registrational CAR T cell agents for numerous diseases, and a growing early-stage pipeline that expands cell and gene therapy targets, and technologies. We are developing cancer treatments directed at key biological pathways using our protein homeostasis platform, a research capability that has been the basis of our approved therapies for multiple myeloma and several promising compounds in early- to mid-stage development. Our scientists are targeting different immune system pathways to address interactions between tumors, the microenvironment and the immune system to further expand upon the progress we have made and help more patients respond to treatment. Combining these approaches is key to delivering new options for the treatment of cancer and addressing the growing issue of resistance to immunotherapy. We source innovation internally, and in collaboration with academia, government, advocacy groups and biotechnology companies, to help make the promise of transformational medicines a reality for patients.

About Opdivo

Opdivo is a programmed death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor that is designed to uniquely harness the body’s own immune system to help restore anti-tumor immune response. By harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, Opdivo has become an important treatment option across multiple cancers.

Opdivo’s leading global development program is based on Bristol Myers Squibb’s scientific expertise in the field of Immuno-Oncology, and includes a broad range of clinical trials across all phases, including Phase 3, in a variety of tumor types. To date, the Opdivo clinical development program has treated more than 35,000 patients. The Opdivo trials have contributed to gaining a deeper understanding of the potential role of biomarkers in patient care, particularly regarding how patients may benefit from Opdivo across the continuum of PD-L1 expression.

In July 2014, Opdivo was the first PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor to receive regulatory approval anywhere in the world. Opdivo is currently approved in more than 65 countries, including the United States, the European Union, Japan and China. In October 2015, the Company’s Opdivo and Yervoy combination regimen was the first Immuno-Oncology combination to receive regulatory approval for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and is currently approved in more than 50 countries, including the United States and the European Union.

About Yervoy

Yervoy is a recombinant, human monoclonal antibody that binds to the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4). CTLA-4 is a negative regulator of T-cell activity. Yervoy binds to CTLA-4 and blocks the interaction of CTLA-4 with its ligands, CD80/CD86. Blockade of CTLA-4 has been shown to augment T-cell activation and proliferation, including the activation and proliferation of tumor infiltrating T-effector cells. Inhibition of CTLA-4 signaling can also reduce T-regulatory cell function, which may contribute to a general increase in T-cell responsiveness, including the anti-tumor immune response. On March 25, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Yervoy 3 mg/kg monotherapy for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. Yervoy is approved for unresectable or metastatic melanoma in more than 50 countries. There is a broad, ongoing development program in place for Yervoy spanning multiple tumor types.


OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab), is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab), is indicated for the treatment of patients with intermediate or poor risk, previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab), is indicated for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) that has progressed following treatment with a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab), is indicated for the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials.

Checkmate Trials and Patient Populations

Checkmate 037–previously treated metastatic melanoma; Checkmate 066–previously untreated metastatic melanoma; Checkmate 067–previously untreated metastatic melanoma, as a single agent or in combination with YERVOY; Checkmate 017–second-line treatment of metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer; Checkmate 057–second-line treatment of metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer; Checkmate 032–small cell lung cancer; Checkmate 025–previously treated renal cell carcinoma; Checkmate 214–previously untreated renal cell carcinoma, in combination with YERVOY; Checkmate 205/039–classical Hodgkin lymphoma; Checkmate 141–recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; Checkmate 275–urothelial carcinoma; Checkmate 142–MSI-H or dMMR metastatic colorectal cancer, as a single agent or in combination with YERVOY; Checkmate 040–hepatocellular carcinoma; Checkmate 238–adjuvant treatment of melanoma.

About the Bristol Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical Collaboration

In 2011, through a collaboration agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Bristol Myers Squibb expanded its territorial rights to develop and commercialize Opdivo globally, except in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, where Ono had retained all rights to the compound at the time. On July 23, 2014, Ono and Bristol Myers Squibb further expanded the companies’ strategic collaboration agreement to jointly develop and commercialize multiple immunotherapies – as single agents and combination regimens – for patients with cancer in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Celgene and Juno Therapeutics are wholly owned subsidiaries of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. In certain countries outside the U.S., due to local laws, Celgene and Juno Therapeutics are referred to as, Celgene, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Juno Therapeutics, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

SOURCE: Bristol-Myers Squibb

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