Bristol-Myers Squibb and Transgene are to test a potential new therapy for advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) combining a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, vaccine and chemotherapy.

The firms announced a new clinical research collaboration to assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of Transgene’s investigational therapeutic vaccine TG4010 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) plus standard chemotherapy (CT) as a first-line treatment for advanced NSCLC patients whose tumours have low or undetectable levels of PD-L1.

TG4010 is designed to generate an immune response against MUC1 expressing tumours such as NSCLC, while Opdivo is designed to alleviate immune suppression.

“Based on the results obtained with TG4010 in a large Phase IIb trial (TIME trial) in combination with chemotherapy, we are hopeful that this triple combination regimen could provide a treatment option for patients with advanced NSCLC,” said Philippe Archinard, chairman and chief executive of Transgene.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Transgene will sponsor the trial while BMS will provide Opdivo for use in the study.