Bristol-Myers Squibb and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have formed a new clinical research collaboration to assess potential new uses of immunotherapies Opdivo and Yervoy to treat early- and advanced-stage lung cancer patients.
The alliance will test Opdivo in Phase I and II clinical trials as a monotherapy, in combination with Yervoy, or in regimens with other agents, radiation or surgery in a range of clinical settings.
Studies will also explore novel biomarkers to better differentiate treatment responders from non-responders, as well as next generation immunotherapeutic agents that may be used to expand the benefits to larger numbers of patients.
The collaboration will tap into MD Anderson's existing immunotherapy platform, which helps to link immunologic data with the genomic and proteomic platforms across a range of cancer types, and broaden scientific understanding of immuno-oncology agents through preclinical and clinical studies in lung cancer, the groups said.
BMS is hoping that the data generated will help it optimise combinations for future clinical trials, while also enhancing mechanistic understanding of immune system function in mounting of anti-tumor responses.
In September 2014, the groups entered into a clinical collaboration focused on assessing BMS' immuno-oncology assets for the treatment of haematologic malignancies, and in December 2015, they signed a pact to use MD Anderson's immunotherapy platform to help to link immunologic data with the genomic and proteomic platforms across a range of cancer types.
The US cancer centre has a range of immunotherapy-focused pacts with major pharma firms under its belt, including deals with Merck and Boehringer Ingelheim.