Drug Development

Bristol-Myers scores fresh bragging rights with PhIII gastric cancer success for Opdivo

Fouad Namouni, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Fouad Namouni, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb has grabbed some badly needed new bragging rights in the checkpoint space, announcing Thursday morning that investigators reaped positive overall survival data from their Phase III study on gastric cancer.

Its claim to fame: This is the first checkpoint to provide pivotal OS data for unresectable advanced or recurrent drug-resistant gastric cancer, though we won’t know what that is until investigators roll the data out an upcoming conference.

Opdivo won’t likely remain alone for long. Merck is also studying Keytruda for gastric cancer. And Astellas recently struck a $1.4 billion buyout deal for Ganymed, which wowed scientists at ASCO last summer with its own work in gastric cancer.

Bristol-Myers’ partner Ono Pharmaceutical conducted the study.

Fouad Namouni, MD, head of development, Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb, commented:

“Patients with advanced or recurrent gastric cancer generally have a poor prognosis, and there are currently no standard-of-care treatment options for patients who fail to respond to or who are intolerant of standard chemotherapy. With the results from the ONO-4538-12 study, Opdivo is now the first Immuno-Oncology agent to demonstrate a survival benefit for this patient population.”


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