Bristol-Myers Squibb is teaming up with Japanese firm Kyowa Hakko Kirin to test a combination of two of the firms’ immunotherapies.
The companies will conduct a Phase I/II study in the US with Kyowa’s Poteligeo (mogamulizumab), an anti-CCR4 antibody, and BMS’ Opdivo (nivolumab), one of the leading PD-1 inhibitor immunotherapies, in advanced or metastatic solid tumours. This follows a similar collaboration between the two companies, along with Kyowa’s partner Ono Pharmaceutical, in Japan.
“We are pleased to conduct a combination study with Bristol-Myers Squibb not only in Japan but also in the US,” says Yoichi Sato, director of the board and managing executive officer at Kyowa Hakko Kirin. “We believe that the planned combination of these two immunotherapies has the potential to deliver better outcomes in patients with advanced cancers than existing treatments.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The immunotherapy market, which is being touted as one of the most promising areas of cancer treatment, shows no signs of slowing down. As well as the BMS-Kyowa deal, this month has also seen Sanofi and Regeneron announcing a new collaboration to research the area and Merck acquiring immuno-oncology specialist cCAM.
Merck, which is BMS’ main rival in the space, has also seen EU approval for its own PD-1 inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) to treat melanoma – but a day earlier Opdivo also gained a new EU indication for lung cancer.