"Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to patients with lung cancer, and we are pleased to offer Opdivo as the first immuno-oncology therapy for patients who have previously treated metastatic squamous NSCLC," said Lamberto Andreotti, chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "Because lung cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, with high mortality, there is a significant need for treatments that extend survival. We’re thankful to the many patients and healthcare providers that partnered with us to develop a new treatment that has the potential to address that unmet need."
This approval is the second for Opdivo in the United States within three months, and is based on the results of CheckMate -017 and CheckMate -063.
Opdivo is associated with immune-mediated: pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, nephritis and renal dysfunction, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, other adverse reactions; and embryofetal toxicity. Please see the Important Safety Information section below.
Proven Superior Survival vs. Standard of Care in a Phase III Clinical Trial
CheckMate -017 was a landmark Phase III, open-label, randomized, multinational, multicenter clinical trial that evaluated Opdivo (3 mg/kg intravenously over 60 minutes every two weeks) (n=135) vs. standard of care, docetaxel (75 mg/m2 intravenously administered every 3 weeks) (n=137), in patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC who had progressed during or after prior platinum doublet-based chemotherapy regimen. This trial included patients regardless of their PD-L1 (programmed death ligand-1) status. The primary endpoint of this trial was overall survival (OS).
In January, the trial was stopped based on an assessment conducted by the independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC), which concluded that the study met its endpoint, demonstrating superior OS in patients receiving Opdivo compared to docetaxel. The prespecified interim analysis was conducted when 199 events (86% of the planned number of events for final analysis) were observed (86 in the Opdivo arm and 113 in the docetaxel arm).
Opdivo is the only FDA-approved monotherapy to demonstrate proven superior OS compared to standard of care in more than 15 years in previously treated metastatic squamous NSCLC. The median OS was 9.2 months in the Opdivo arm (95% CI: 7.3, 13.3) and 6 months in the docetaxel arm (95% CI: 5.1, 7.3). The hazard ratio was 0.59 (95% CI: 0.44, 0.79; p=0.00025). This hazard ratio translates to a 41% reduction in the risk of death with Opdivo compared to docetaxel.
"The FDA approval of Opdivo introduces an entirely new treatment modality that has demonstrated unprecedented results for the treatment of previously treated metastatic squamous NSCLC, with the potential to replace chemotherapy for these patients," said Dr. Suresh Ramalingam, MD, Professor and Director of Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. "This milestone brings to fruition the long-held hope that immuno-oncology medicines can be significantly effective in this difficult-to-treat population."
About the CheckMate -063 Trial and the Safety Profile of Opdivo
The safety profile of Opdivo in squamous NSCLC was established in CheckMate -063, a Phase II single-arm, open-label, multinational, multicenter trial of Opdivo, administered as a single agent in patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC who have progressed after receiving a platinum-based therapy and at least one additional systemic treatment regimen (n=117). Patients received 3 mg/kg of Opdivo administered intravenously over 60 minutes every 2 weeks. This trial included patients regardless of their PD-L1 status. The most common adverse reactions (reported in ≥20% of patients) were fatigue (50%), dyspnea (38%), musculoskeletal pain (36%), decreased appetite (35%), cough (32%), nausea (29%), and constipation (24%). Serious adverse reactions occurred in 59% of patients receiving Opdivo. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in ≥2% of patients were dyspnea, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation, pneumonitis, hypercalcemia, pleural effusion, hemoptysis, and pain. Opdivo was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 27% of patients. Twenty-nine percent of patients receiving Opdivo had a drug delay for an adverse reaction.
With at least 10 months of minimum follow up for all patients, the confirmed objective response rate (ORR), the study’s primary endpoint, was 15% (17/117) (95% CI = 9, 22) of which all were partial responses. The median time to onset of response was 3.3 months (range: 1.7 to 8.8 months) after the start of Opdivo treatment. Seventy-six percent of Opdivo responders (13/17 patients) had ongoing responses with durability of response ranging from 1.9+ to 11.5+ months; 10 of these 17 (59%) patients had durable responses of 6 months or longer.
"The approval of Opdivo for the treatment of previously treated metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer is a major advancement in delivering extended survival for patients fighting this deadly disease," said Andrea Ferris, President and Chairman, Lungevity Foundation. "We are very excited for an immuno-oncology therapy to enter the market and offer options and hope for many of our patients. I applaud the FDA and Bristol-Myers Squibb for their work in making this important and first of its kind treatment available to patients so quickly."
About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the United States. NSCLC is one of the most common types of the disease and accounts for approximately 85 percent of cases. Squamous cell NSCLC accounts for approximately 25 to 30 percent of all lung cancers. Survival rates vary depending on the stage and type of the cancer and when it is diagnosed. For Stage IV NSCLC, the five-year survival rate is one percent.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Patient Support Programs for Opdivo
Bristol-Myers Squibb remains committed to helping patients through treatment with Opdivo. For support and assistance, patients and physicians may call 1-855-OPDIVO-1. This number offers one-stop access to a range of support services for patients and healthcare professionals alike.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb's Access Support
Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to helping patients access Opdivo and offers numerous programs to support patients and providers in gaining access. BMS Access Support®, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Reimbursement Services program, is designed to support access to BMS medicines and expedite time to therapy through reimbursement support including Benefit Investigations, Prior Authorization Facilitation, Appeals Assistance, and assistance for patient out-of-pocket costs. BMS Access Support assists patients and providers throughout the treatment journey - whether it is at initial diagnosis or in support of transition from a clinical trial.
About the Opdivo Clinical Development Program
Bristol-Myers Squibb has a broad, global development program to study Opdivo in multiple tumor types consisting of more than 50 trials - as monotherapy or in combination with other therapies - in which more than 7,000 patients have been enrolled worldwide.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.