PRINCETON, N.J.--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) today announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has validated for review the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for nivolumab in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – the first completed regulatory submission for a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor in this tumor type.
"Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and there remains a significant need for effective treatment options for patients with this disease," said Michael Giordano, M.D., senior vice president, Head of Oncology Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "We are pleased to have two applications for nivolumab now under review in the E.U., and look forward to continued collaboration with health authorities around the world as we work to bring nivolumab to patients."
The MAA submitted to the EMA in lung cancer is based on data from the Phase 2 study of nivolumab in third-line pre-treated squamous cell NSCLC (Study -063).
In addition to the MAA for lung cancer in the E.U., the company previously announced that it has initiated a rolling submission with the FDA for Opdivo in third-line pre-treated squamous cell NSCLC and expects to complete the submission by year-end.
About Opdivo (nivolumab)
Cancer cells may exploit "regulatory" pathways, such as checkpoint pathways, to hide from the immune system and shield the tumor from immune attack. Opdivo is an investigational, fully-human PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor that binds to the checkpoint receptor PD-1 (programmed death-1) expressed on activated T-cells.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has a broad, global development program to study Opdivo in multiple tumor types consisting of more than 35 trials – as monotherapy or in combination with other therapies – in which more than 7,000 patients have been enrolled worldwide. Among these are several potentially registrational trials in NSCLC, melanoma, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), head and neck cancer, glioblastoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In 2013, the FDA granted Fast Track designation for Opdivo in NSCLC, melanoma and RCC. In April 2014, the company initiated a rolling submission with the FDA for Opdivo in third-line pre-treated squamous cell NSCLC and expects to complete the submission by year-end. The FDA granted its first Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Opdivo in May 2014 for the treatment of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma after failure of autologous stem cell transplant and brentuximab. On July 4, Ono Pharmaceutical Co. announced that Opdivo received manufacturing and marketing approval in Japan for the treatment of patients with unresectable melanoma, makingOpdivo the first PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor to receive regulatory approval anywhere in the world. On September 26, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that the FDA accepted for priority review the BLA for previously treated advanced melanoma, and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date for a decision is March 30, 2015. The FDA also granted OpdivoBreakthrough Therapy status for this indication. In the E.U., the EMA has validated for review the MAA for Opdivo in advanced melanoma. The application has also been granted accelerated assessment by the EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).
Bristol-Myers Squibb has proposed the name Opdivo (pronounced op-dee-voh), which, if approved by health authorities, will serve as the trademark for nivolumab.
About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally, resulting in more than 1.5 million deaths each year according the World Health Organization. NSCLC is one of the most common types of the disease and accounts for approximately 85 percent of cases. Survival rates vary depending on the stage and type of the cancer when it is diagnosed. Globally, the five-year survival rate for Stage I NSCLC is between 47 and 50 percent; for Stage IV NSCLC, the five-year survival rate drops to two percent.
Immuno-Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb
Surgery, radiation, cytotoxic or targeted therapies have represented the mainstay of cancer treatment over the last several decades, but long-term survival and a positive quality of life have remained elusive for many patients with advanced disease.
To address this unmet medical need, Bristol-Myers Squibb is leading advances in the innovative field of immuno-oncology, which involves agents whose primary mechanism is to work directly with the body's immune system to fight cancer. The company is exploring a variety of compounds and immunotherapeutic approaches for patients with different types of cancer, including researching the potential of combining immuno-oncology agents that target different and complementary pathways in the treatment of cancer.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to advancing the science of immuno-oncology, with the goal of changing survival expectations and the way patients live with cancer.
About the Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical Collaboration
In 2011, through a collaboration agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical, 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, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical further expanded the companies' strategic collaboration agreement to jointly develop and commercialize multiple immunotherapies – as single agents and combination regiments – for patients with cancer in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical 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 www.bms.com, or follow us on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/bmsnews.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that Opdivo will receive regulatory approval in the E.U. or, if approved, that it will become a commercially successful product. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb's business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.