BMS in Pact to Develop Cancer Combo Therapy

Bristol-Myers Squibb has formed a clinical-trial collaboration with Calithera Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotechnology company headquartered in South San Francisco, California focused on small-molecule drugs for cancer treatment. The collaboration will evaluate Bristol-Myers Squibb’s immuno-oncology agent, Opdivo (nivolumab), in combination with Calithera’s drug candidate, CB-839, in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC).

Calithera’s CB-839 is an orally administered glutaminase inhibitor currently in Phase I/II clinical studies. It is designed to target a pathway to starve tumor cells of glutamine, a key nutrient. Opdivo is designed to overcome immune suppression. The companies will explore the potential of combining these two agents with the goal of achieving improved and sustained efficacy in ccRCC patients with cancer that is stable or growing on a programmed death (PD)-1 inhibitor therapy.

Opdivo is a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor that received regulatory approval in July 2014, and currently has regulatory approval in 54 countries including the US, Japan, and in the European Union.Sales of Opdivo reached $2.464 billion in the first nine months of 2016.

US indications for Opdivo include: as a single agent treating patients with BRAF V600 mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma; as a single agent for treating patients with BRAF V600 wild-type unresectable or metastatic melanoma; in combination with Yervoy for treating unresectable or metastatic melanoma; for treating patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy; for treating patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma who have received prior anti-angiogenic therapy; for treating patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma that has relapsed or progressed after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and post-transplantation brentuximab vedotin; and for treating recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy.

Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb

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