Drug Development

Protocols: Bavarian collaborates with BMS on lung cancer study; Eleven completes Roche deal; Intellia chief anticipates new CRISPR tweaks

Following up on its big setback for non-small cell lung cancer, Bristol-Myers has agreed to supply its checkpoint drug to Denmark’s Bavarian Nordic, which plans to enroll 165 patients in a Phase II lung cancer study that will get a combination of Opdivo and its antigen-targeting CV301. The study will focus on previously treated patients. Opdivo is already approved in the second-line setting. There has been an explosion of collaborations in immune-oncology over the past two years.

Here’s another I/O matchup. Looking to see if it can mount a comeback for tivozanib, Aveo is launching a Phase I combination study of its drug combined with Bristol-Myers’ Opdivo for advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Eleven Biotherapeutics $EBIO has landed the shareholder votes it needed to complete its licensing pact with Roche, according to an SEC filing. Eleven’s lead drug failed back-to-back studies, forcing the company to do a deal on its remaining assets as it considers a wind-down of operations.

Intellia CEO Nessan Bermingham tells Business Insider that he expects to see some improvements in CRISPR Cas9, but no revolutionary breakout in the tech.  “In my mind now, where I think we’ll see the change and the significant step forward is going to be on double-stranded break repair. We have a pair of scissors that works really well. And we can tweak it; we know how to do that with protein modifications and engineering.”

San Diego-based Sorrento Therapeutics has recruited former Celgene CMO Jerome Zeldis to the company, where he’ll take the same title and responsibility for clinical development.

San Diego-based NovaRx has raised funds, expanded its management team and changed its name to Activate Immunotherapy. Its cancer vaccine failed a Phase III in 2013, but the new owners say that they saw positive results from a subgroup of patients.

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