Whether an experimental vaccine developed by Transgene can be used alongside Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) and chemotherapy to treat non-small-cell lung cancer will be determined in a clinical trial to be conducted over the next year.
The two drugs under investigation bring different approaches to the fight against lung cancer, the two companies said in a joint press release. Transgene’s TG4010 boosts the body’s immune response to attack tumors containing a specific genetic signature, whereas Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo helps patients cope with the overall impact of chemotherapy on their immune systems.
Worldwide, lung cancer is diagnosed nearly 2 million times each year, with a survival rate after five years of only 5 percent, the announcement stated.
Dr. Fouad Namouni, head of oncology development at Bristol-Myers Squibb, said the study may uncover a new treatment option for the hard-to-treat illness.
“We are excited to explore the potential benefits of combining Opdivo with an investigational therapeutic vaccine, TG4010, in NSCLC (non-small-cell lung cancer) where the need for new therapies is particularly acute,” Namouni said in the release.
For Transgene, funder of the study, the Phase 2 clinical trial represents a chance to keep the positive momentum going for TG4010 after the publication in 2015 of a similar successful study.
“We are hopeful that this triple combination regimen could provide a treatment option for patients with advanced NSCLC,” Philippe Archinard, Transgene’s chairman and CEO, said in the release.