Bristol-Myers Receives FDA Approval For Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen 

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The FINANCIAL — Bristol-Myers Squibb Company on October 1 announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with Yervoy (ipilimumab), for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

Today’s announcement marks the first and only FDA approval of a Regimen of two Immuno-Oncology agents in cancer. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response.1 Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

The approval is based on data from the pivotal study, CheckMate -069, which was the first to report outcomes of the Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen in previously untreated patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. Results from the trial demonstrated a statistically significant (p<0.001) increase in confirmed objective response rate – the study’s primary endpoint – in patients with BRAF wild-type melanoma treated with the Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen [60% (95% CI: 48-71; p<0.001)] compared to those treated with Yervoy monotherapy [11% (95% CI: 3-25)]. Complete responses were seen in 17% of patients. Partial responses were seen in 43% of the Regimen group and 11% of the Yervoy monotherapy group. The Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen demonstrated a 60% reduction in the risk of progression vs. Yervoy alone (HR=0.40; 95% CI: 0.22-0.71; p<0.002). Median PFS was 8.9 months with the Regimen (95% CI: 7.0, NA) and 4.7 months with Yervoy alone (95% CI: 2.8-5.3).1 This trial provides clinical rationale for targeting the immune system with two Immuno-Oncology agents in metastatic melanoma, according to Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Opdivo is associated with immune-mediated: pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis and renal dysfunction, rash, other adverse reactions; infusion reactions; and embryofetal toxicity. 

“Targeting the immune system in the treatment of cancer has been of interest to the oncology community for decades,4 and our first Immuno-Oncology agent, Yervoy, was approved in 2011 for metastatic melanoma. Opdivo reinforced the power of the immune system in the fight against cancer, and is quickly becoming a foundational component in how the oncology community treats this devastating disease,” said Giovanni Caforio, chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Today’s approval of the Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen marks another first for our research in Immuno-Oncology and represents our unwavering commitment to continually redefine cancer care, and offer patients new treatment options with the goal of improved outcomes.”


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