Opdivo® (nivolumab) Plus Yervoy® (ipilimumab) Demonstrates Durable Survival Benefit vs. Chemotherapy in Patients with Previously Untreated Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

CheckMate -743 is the first and only Phase 3 trial in which first-line immunotherapy treatment improved survival in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma

With these positive results, Opdivo plus Yervoy has now shown clinical benefit in six different tumor types, including durable, superior overall survival vs. chemotherapy in two thoracic cancers

PRINCETON, NJ, USA I August 08, 2020 IBristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) today announced that Opdivo® (nivolumab) plus Yervoy® (ipilimumab) demonstrated a significant improvement in overall survival (OS) in patients with previously untreated, unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in the Phase 3 CheckMate -743 clinical trial. With a minimum follow-up of 22 months, treatment with Opdivo plus Yervoy reduced the risk of death by 26%, demonstrating a median OS of 18.1 months vs. 14.1 months for platinum-based standard of care chemotherapy (Hazard Ratio [HR]: 0.74 [96.6% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.60, 0.91]; p=0.002). At two years, 41% of patients treated with the Opdivo plus Yervoy combination were alive, compared to 27% of patients treated with chemotherapy.

The safety profile of Opdivo plus Yervoy was consistent with previously reported studies, and no new safety signals were observed.

These data will be presented at the 2020 World Conference on Lung Cancer Virtual Presidential Symposium hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer on August 8, 2020, 7:00 a.m. EDT (Abstract #3).

“An aggressive cancer with a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent, malignant pleural mesothelioma has shown resistance to many clinical treatments,” said Paul Baas, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Thoracic Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute and the University of Leiden. “Now, for the first time, we have evidence that a dual immunotherapy combination showed a superior, sustained overall survival benefit compared to chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of all types of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The CheckMate -743 data support the potential for nivolumab plus ipilimumab to become a new standard of care.”

Histology is a well-established prognostic factor in mesothelioma, with non-epithelioid patients generally experiencing poorer outcomes. In CheckMate -743, Opdivo plus Yervoy showed improvements in survival across both non-epithelioid and epithelioid MPM, with a larger magnitude of benefit observed in the non-epithelioid subgroup. With the dual immunotherapy combination, median OS was 18.7 months for epithelioid patients and 18.1 months for non-epithelioid patients, compared to 16.5 months and 8.8 months, respectively, with chemotherapy (epithelioid subgroup HR: 0.86 [95% CI: 0.69, 1.08]; and non-epithelioid subgroup HR: 0.46 [95% CI: 0.31, 0.68]).

“These data in malignant pleural mesothelioma follow on the established long-term efficacy of Opdivo plus Yervoy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and further demonstrate the combination’s potential to change survival expectations in thoracic cancers,” said Sabine Maier, Vice President, Oncology Clinical Development, Bristol Myers Squibb. “For more than 15 years, no new systemic treatment options that can extend survival have been approved for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. We look forward to discussions with global health authorities over the coming months about the positive results from CheckMate -743.”

Opdivo plus Yervoy is a unique combination of two immune checkpoint inhibitors that features a potentially synergistic mechanism of action, targeting two different checkpoints (PD-1 and CTLA-4) to help destroy tumor cells: Yervoy helps activate and proliferate T cells, while Opdivo helps existing T cells discover the tumor. Some of the T cells stimulated by Yervoy can become memory T cells, which may allow for a long-term immune response.

About CheckMate -743

CheckMate -743 is an open-label, multi-center, randomized Phase 3 trial evaluating Opdivo plus Yervoy compared to chemotherapy (pemetrexed and cisplatin or carboplatin) in patients with previously untreated malignant pleural mesothelioma (n=605). In the trial, 303 patients received Opdivo at 3 mg/kg every two weeks and Yervoy at 1 mg/kg every six weeks for up to 24 months or until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity; 302 patients received cisplatin 75 mg/m2 or carboplatin AUC 5 plus pemetrexed 500 mg/m2 in 21 day cycles for six cycles or until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint of the trial was OS in all randomized patients. Key secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR) and progression-free survival (PFS). Exploratory endpoints included safety, pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity and patient reported outcomes.

About Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs. It is most frequently caused by exposure to asbestos. Diagnosis is often delayed, with the majority of patients presenting with advanced or metastatic disease. Prognosis is generally poor: in previously untreated patients with advanced or metastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma, median survival is less than one year and the five-year survival rate is approximately 10%.

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 patients’ quality of life, 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 potential 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 first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors express PD-L1 (≥1%) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab) and 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemotherapy, is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations.

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.

Please see U.S. Full Prescribing Information for OPDIVO and YERVOY.

CheckMate Trials and Patient Populations

Checkmate 067–previously untreated metastatic melanoma, as a single agent or in combination with YERVOY; Checkmate 227–previously untreated metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, in combination with YERVOY; Checkmate 9LA–previously untreated recurrent or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in combination with YERVOY and 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemotherapy by histology; Checkmate 214–previously untreated renal cell carcinoma, in combination with YERVOY; Checkmate 142–MSI-H or dMMR metastatic colorectal cancer, as a single agent or in combination with YERVOY; Checkmate 040–hepatocellular carcinoma, as a single agent or in combination with YERVOY

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 BMS.com 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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