BMS, Calithera Biosciences Expand Pact for Small-Molecule Anticancer Drugs

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Calithera Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotechnology company fdeveloping small-molecule drugs directed against tumor metabolism and tumor immunology targets for the treatment of cancer, have expanded their existing collaboration to evaluate Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with Calithera’s CB-839 in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and melanoma. CB-839 is an investigational orally administered glutaminase inhibitor currently in Phase I/II clinical studies.

Preclinical data suggest that CB-839, which is designed to target a pathway to starve tumor cells of the key nutrient glutamine, may enhance the effects of checkpoint inhibitors and may also reverse tumor resistance to checkpoint inhibitors by altering the immune-suppressive microenvironment and promoting an anti-tumor immune response, according to information from BMS. Opdivo is designed to overcome immune suppression. The companies will evaluate the potential clinical value of combining these two agents to treat NSCLC and melanoma.

Opdivo is a blockbuster anti-cancer drug for BMS with 2016 sales of $3.77 billion.In the US, Opdivo is indicated for treating BRAF V600 mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma and BRAF V600 wild-type unresectable or metastatic melanoma as a single agent; unresectable or metastatic melanoma in combination with Yervoy (ipilimumab); metastatic non-small cell lung cancer; advanced renal cell carcinoma; classical Hodgkin lymphoma; recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; and locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma.

Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb

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