Bristol-Myers Squibb said it will collaborate with Advaxis Inc. in a study to evaluate ADXS-DUAL and Opdivo (nivolumab) in a combination therapy for cervical cancer that has resisted or recurred after chemotherapy. The study is expected to begin by the end of the year.
ADXS-Dual is an investigational immunotherapy that targets HPV-associated cancers, while Opdivo helps the body's immune system restore anti-tumor immune response. Opdivo, a programmed death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor, received regulatory approval in July 2014.
“The additional HPV antigens have the potential to provide coverage against numerous HPV types in cervical cancer and other HPV-associated cancers,” Advaxis President and CEO Daniel O’Connor said in a release. “By studying the combination of Opdivo and ADXS-DUAL, we hope to bring a new option to metastatic cervical cancer patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic disease. We are looking forward to working with Bristol-Myers Squibb to explore the potential of this combination.”
Cervical cancer is associated with HPV infection. It is the fourth most common cancer in women. When in an advanced or recurrent state, it has a poor prognosis. The five-year survival rate for stage IV cervical cancer is approximately 15 percent. Once chemotherapy has failed, there is no other approved treatment at this time.
“Combining immunotherapy agents is at the core of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s strategy, as it brings the opportunity to improve anti-tumor efficacy,” Bristol-Myers Squibb head of Oncology Development Fouad Namouni said in the release. “We are excited to work with Advaxis to explore the potential of Opdivo and ADXS-DUAL to provide a potential new option for metastatic cervical cancer patients where there is a high unmet need.”