Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene have established a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of a combination regimen of BMS’ investigational PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, Opdivo (nivolumab), and Celgene’s nab technology-based chemotherapy Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) (albumin-bound), in a phase I study.
Multiple tumor types will be explored in the study including HER-2 negative metastatic breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The proprietary name Opdivo has been proposed in the U.S. and other countries, but remains subject to health authority approval.
Opdivo is part of a new class of cancer treatments known as immunotherapies that are designed to harness the body’s own immune system in fighting cancer. Opdivo targets distinct regulatory components of the immune system, while Abraxane works by interfering with the ability of cancer cells to divide. By combining an immunotherapy with a standard chemotherapy, the companies will explore whether these two agents may lead to an enhanced anti-tumor response compared to either agent alone.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene will work together to advance the science and understanding of how the body’s own immune system and chemotherapy might work together to fight cancer,” said Michael Giordano, senior vice president, oncology development, BMS.
Markus Renschler, M.D., senior vice president, global head of hematology and oncology medical affairs, Celgene, said, “We believe that Abraxane is appropriate as a combination partner for novel immuno-oncology therapies due to its proven anti-tumor activity and that it can be administered without steroid premedication.”
The study, which is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014, will be conducted by Celgene. Patients with HER-2 negative breast cancer will be treated with Abraxane and Opdivo, patients with NSCLC will be treated with the combination of Abraxane, carboplatin and Opdivo, and patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma will be treated with Abraxane, gemcitabine and Opdivo.