Bristol-Myers Squibb said it is partnering with Novartis to investigate using Opdivo (nivolumab) and Opdivo plus Yervoy (ipilimumab) in combination with Mekinist (trametinib) for treating metastatic colorectal cancer.
“We continue to investigate novel combinations of therapy that may hold the potential to expand the therapeutic benefits of immunotherapy to patients with difficult to treat cancer or those who don’t respond, and look forward to evaluating the combination of Novartis’ MEK inhibitor with our immunotherapies,” Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology Development head Fouad Namouni said in a release.
The study will evaluate the medications in the treatment of a difficult to treat form of colorectal cancer, where the patients have microsatellite stable tumors and the tumors are proficient in mismatch repair (MSS mCRC pMMR). The study will also determine dose regimens and the feasibility of proceeding further in evaluating the treatments.
Opdivo, a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, is approved in more than 60 countries. It received approval in July 2014.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, ranked third in men and second in women.
Approximately 135,430 patients will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017, and 50,000 will die from colorectal cancer, the release said. In the developed world, the five-year survival rate is approximately 65 percent, but in some developing countries it is as low as 20 percent.