PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion recommending that nivolumab, a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, be granted approval for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after prior chemotherapy in adults. The CHMP positive opinion will now be reviewed by the European Commission, which has the authority to approve medicines for the European Union (EU).
“We are moving at a ground-breaking pace to deliver on a mission that looks to transform cancer treatment options for patients,” said Michael Giordano, senior vice president, Head of Development, Oncology. “Last month, we received a CHMP positive opinion for nivolumab for the treatment of advanced melanoma. Today’s announcement of a positive opinion for nivolumab in NSCLC brings us closer to delivering on our promise of changing the standard of care for lung cancer.”
Positive Opinion based on CheckMate -017 and -063
The CHMP positive opinion is based on data from CheckMate -017 and CheckMate -063, two trials that demonstrated the efficacy and safety of nivolumab in patients with advanced or metastatic squamous NSCLC who had progressed following previous chemotherapy treatment. CheckMate -017 was a Phase III, randomized, open-label trial that included patients who had experienced disease progression during or after one prior platinum doublet-based chemotherapy regimen.
Results from a prespecified interim analysis of CheckMate -017, demonstrated significantly superior overall survival (OS) with nivolumab vs. docetaxel, with a 41% reduction in the risk of death (hazard ratio: 0.59 [95% CI: 0.44, 0.79; p=0.00025]). This benefit was observed regardless of PD-L1 expression status. The estimated one-year survival rate was nearly doubled with nivolumab (42% [95% CI: 34, 50]) compared to docetaxel (24% [95% CI: 17, 31]). The median OS was 9.2 months in the nivolumab arm (95% CI: 7.3, 13.3) and 6 months in the docetaxel arm (95% CI: 5.1, 7.3).
A second study, CheckMate -063, was a Phase II single-arm, multinational, multicenter trial that included patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC who had progressed after receiving a platinum-based therapy and at least one additional systemic treatment regimen (65% of patients had received ≥ 3 prior therapies). In CheckMate -063, confirmed objective response rate, the study’s primary endpoint, was 14.5% (17/117) (95% CI = 8.7, 22.2) with an estimated one-year survival rate of 40.8% (95% CI: 31.6, 49.7) and median overall survival of 8.2 months (95% CI: 6.1, 10.9).
In both CheckMate -017 and -063, there was consistent nivolumab dosing of 3 mg/kg every two weeks. The safety profile of nivolumab has been evaluated in thousands of patients enrolled in the broader clinical program and treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were generally managed using established safety algorithms. In CheckMate -017, the safety profile of nivolumab was consistent with prior studies and favorable versus docetaxel. Treatment-related adverse events occurred less frequently with nivolumab than docetaxel (grade 3–4, 6.9% vs. 55%, respectively).
Bristol-Myers Squibb has a broad, global development program to study nivolumab in multiple tumor types consisting of more than 50 trials – as monotherapy or in combination with other therapies – in which more than 8,000 patients have been enrolled worldwide.
Nivolumab became the first PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor to receive regulatory approval anywhere in the world on July 4, 2014 when Ono Pharmaceutical Co. announced that it received manufacturing and marketing approval in Japan for the treatment of patients with unresectable melanoma. In the U.S., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted its first approval for nivolumab for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression following Yervoy (ipilimumab) and, if BRAF V600 mutation positive, a BRAF inhibitor. On March 4, 2015, nivolumab received its second FDA approval for the treatment of patients with metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy.
In addition, nivolumab is being investigated in patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC. On April 17, 2015, an open-label, randomized Phase III study (CheckMate -057) evaluating nivolumab versus docetaxel in previously treated patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC was stopped early because an assessment conducted by the independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) concluded that the study met its endpoint, demonstrating superior overall survival in patients receiving nivolumab compared to docetaxel. The company plans to share these data with health authorities.
About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally, resulting in more than 1.5 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization. NSCLC is one of the most common types of the disease and accounts for approximately 85 percent of cases. Survival rates vary depending on the stage and type of the cancer when it is diagnosed. Globally, the five-year survival rate for Stage I NSCLC is between 47 and 50 percent; for Stage IV NSCLC, the five-year survival rate drops to two percent.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Severe pneumonitis or interstitial lung disease, including fatal cases, occurred with OPDIVO treatment. Across the clinical trial experience in 691 patients with solid tumors, fatal immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 0.7% (5/691) of patients receiving OPDIVO; no cases occurred in Trial 1 or Trial 3. In Trial 1, pneumonitis, including interstitial lung disease, occurred in 3.4% (9/268) of patients receiving OPDIVO and none of the 102 patients receiving chemotherapy. Immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 2.2% (6/268) of patients receiving OPDIVO; one with Grade 3 and five with Grade 2. In Trial 3, immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 6% (7/117) of patients receiving OPDIVO, including, five Grade 3 and two Grade 2 cases. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of pneumonitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater pneumonitis. Permanently discontinue OPDIVO for Grade 3 or 4 and withhold OPDIVO until resolution for Grade 2.
- In Trial 1, diarrhea or colitis occurred in 21% (57/268) of patients receiving OPDIVO and 18% (18/102) of patients receiving chemotherapy. Immune-mediated colitis occurred in 2.2% (6/268) of patients receiving OPDIVO; five with Grade 3 and one with Grade 2. In Trial 3, diarrhea occurred in 21% (24/117) of patients receiving OPDIVO. Grade 3 immune-mediated colitis occurred in 0.9% (1/117) of patients. Monitor patients for immune-mediated colitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 (of more than 5 days duration), 3, or 4 colitis. Withhold OPDIVO for Grade 2 or 3. Permanently discontinue OPDIVO for Grade 4 colitis or recurrent colitis upon restarting OPDIVO.
- In Trial 1, there was an increased incidence of liver test abnormalities in the OPDIVO-treated group as compared to the chemotherapy-treated group, with increases in AST (28% vs 12%), alkaline phosphatase (22% vs 13%), ALT (16% vs 5%), and total bilirubin (9% vs 0). Immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 1.1% (3/268) of patients receiving OPDIVO; two with Grade 3 and one with Grade 2. In Trial 3, the incidences of increased liver test values were AST (16%), alkaline phosphatase (14%), ALT (12%), and total bilirubin (2.7%). Monitor patients for abnormal liver tests prior to and periodically during treatment. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater transaminase elevations. Withhold OPDIVO for Grade 2 and permanently discontinue OPDIVO for Grade 3 or 4 immune-mediated hepatitis.
Immune-Mediated Nephritis and Renal Dysfunction
- In Trial 1, there was an increased incidence of elevated creatinine in the OPDIVO-treated group as compared to the chemotherapy-treated group (13% vs 9%). Grade 2 or 3 immune-mediated nephritis or renal dysfunction occurred in 0.7% (2/268) of patients. In Trial 3, the incidence of elevated creatinine was 22%. Immune-mediated renal dysfunction (Grade 2) occurred in 0.9% (1/117) of patients. Monitor patients for elevated serum creatinine prior to and periodically during treatment. For Grade 2 or 3 serum creatinine elevation, withhold OPDIVO and administer corticosteroids; if worsening or no improvement occurs, permanently discontinue OPDIVO. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 4 serum creatinine elevation and permanently discontinue OPDIVO.
Immune-Mediated Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism
- In Trial 1, Grade 1 or 2 hypothyroidism occurred in 8% (21/268) of patients receiving OPDIVO and none of the 102 patients receiving chemotherapy. Grade 1 or 2 hyperthyroidism occurred in 3% (8/268) of patients receiving OPDIVO and 1% (1/102) of patients receiving chemotherapy. In Trial 3, hypothyroidism occurred in 4.3% (5/117) of patients receiving OPDIVO. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 1.7% (2/117) of patients, including one Grade 2 case. Monitor thyroid function prior to and periodically during treatment. Administer hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism. Initiate medical management for control of hyperthyroidism.
Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
- In Trial 1 and 3 (n=385), the following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred in <2% of OPDIVO-treated patients: adrenal insufficiency, uveitis, pancreatitis, facial and abducens nerve paresis, demyeliniation, autoimmune neuropathy, motor dysfunction, and vasculitis. Across clinical trials of OPDIVO administered at doses 3 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg, additional clinically significant, immune-mediated adverse reactions were identified: hypophysitis, diabetic ketoacidosis, hypopituitarism, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and myasthenic syndrome. Based on the severity of adverse reaction, withhold OPDIVO, administer high-dose corticosteroids, and, if appropriate, initiate hormone- replacement therapy.
- Based on its mechanism of action, OPDIVO can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with OPDIVO and for at least 5 months after the last dose of OPDIVO.
- It is not known whether OPDIVO is present in human milk. Because many drugs, including antibodies, are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from OPDIVO, advise women to discontinue breastfeeding during treatment.
Serious Adverse Reactions
- In Trial 1, serious adverse reactions occurred in 41% of patients receiving OPDIVO. Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions occurred in 42% of patients receiving OPDIVO. The most frequent Grade 3 and 4 adverse drug reactions reported in 2% to <5% of patients receiving OPDIVO were abdominal pain, hyponatremia, increased aspartate aminotransferase, and increased lipase.
- In Trial 3, serious adverse reactions occurred in 59% of patients receiving OPDIVO. The most frequent serious adverse drug reactions reported in ≥2% of patients were dyspnea, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation, pneumonitis, hypercalcemia, pleural effusion, hemoptysis, and pain.
Common Adverse Reactions
- The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) reported with OPDIVO in Trial 1 were rash (21%) and in Trial 3 were fatigue (50%), dyspnea (38%), musculoskeletal pain (36%), decreased appetite (35%), cough (32%), nausea (29%), and constipation (24%).
Please see US Full Prescribing Information for OPDIVO.
Immuno-Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb
Surgery, radiation, cytotoxic or targeted therapies have represented the mainstay of cancer treatment over the last several decades, but long-term survival and a positive quality of life have remained elusive for many patients with advanced disease.
To address this unmet medical need, Bristol-Myers Squibb is leading research in an innovative field of cancer research and treatment known as immuno-oncology, which involves agents whose primary mechanism is to work directly with the body’s immune system to fight cancer. The company is exploring a variety of compounds and immunotherapeutic approaches for patients with different types of cancer, including researching the potential of combining immuno-oncology agents that target different pathways in the treatment of cancer.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to advancing the science of immuno-oncology, with the goal of changing survival expectations and the way patients live with cancer.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit www.bms.com, or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that nivolumab will receive regulatory approval in the European Union or, if approved, that it will become a commercially successful product. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb's business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.