Bristol-Myers joins the IDO rush with its own in-house combo program for Opdivo

Fouad Namouni, Bristol-Myers Squibb

WASHINGTON, DC — While Bristol-Myers Squibb joined the rush to partner with Incyte on its leading IDO1 drug epacadostat, it’s also been zeroing in on its own IDO immunotherapy. And investigators turned up at AACR this year with an early look at the results.

Bottom line: Bristol-Myers is going for it.

“It seems our IDO has the potential to be one of the most potent in the class,” Bristol-Myers oncology development chief Faoud Namouni tells me. But it’s still early days.

Here’s their summary from the abstract posted at AACR:

BMS-986205 is an optimized, once-daily, selective and potent oral IDO1 inhibitor at clinically relevant concentrations. It is well tolerated up to at least 200 mg in combination with nivo in this novel trial. Evidence of substantial serum kyn reduction was observed at doses as low as 25 mg QD; inhibition at 100 and 200 mg QD appears greater than that reported for other in-class compounds. In addition, we have presented the first evidence of intratumoral kyn reduction by an IDO1 inhibitor. These data suggest the potential of BMS-986205 as an IDO1 inhibitor with superior PD properties and support further evaluation in combination with nivo.

Incyte has been agnostic about which checkpoints it will partner with. And that leaves key players like Bristol-Myers Squibb pursuing a follow-up option on its own program. They may not be the first to the market, but they can be a top contender for being among the best that follow the pioneer.

You can expect to hear plenty more about IDOs in the near future.

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