FDA OKs New Use for BMS’ Cancer Drug Yervoy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Yervoy (ipilimumab), an immune checkpoint inhibitor in the adjuvant treatment for fully resected Stage III melanoma (lymph node >1 mm). Resectable, Stage III melanoma represents 5%, or approximately 3,100 cases, of all new melanoma cases diagnosed annually. Yeroy was first approved in the United States in 2011 to treat unresectable or metastatic melanoma and is now approved in more than 40 countries for that indication.

Yervoy is a recombinant, human monoclonal antibody that binds to the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4). CTLA-4 is a negative regulator of T-cell activity. Yervoy binds to CTLA-4 and blocks the interaction of CTLA-4 with its ligands, CD80/CD86. Blockade of CTLA-4 has been shown to augment T-cell activation and proliferation, including the activation and proliferation of tumor infiltrating T-effector cells. Inhibition of CTLA-4 signaling can also reduce T-regulatory cell function, which may contribute to a general increase in T-cell responsiveness, including the anti-tumor immune response.

Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb

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