Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) Announces FDA Approval of Opdivo Combo for dvanced or Metastatic Gastric Cancer, Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer, and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

April 16, 2021 1:12 PM EDT

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Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) today announced that Opdivo (nivolumab) (injection for intravenous use), in combination with fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction cancer, and esophageal adenocarcinoma, regardless of PD-L1 expression status.1 The approval is based on the Phase 3 CheckMate -649 trial evaluating Opdivo in combination with mFOLFOX6 (fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin) or CapeOX (capecitabine and oxaliplatin), compared to chemotherapy (mFOLFOX6 or CapeOX) alone.1,2

In the trial of this patient population, Opdivo plus chemotherapy demonstrated superior overall survival (OS) compared to chemotherapy alone, both in all randomized patients (OS HR 0.80; 95% CI: 0.71 to 0.90; P=0.0002), as well as in patients with PD-L1 combined positive score (CPS) ≥ 5 (OS HR 0.71; 95% CI: 0.61 to 0.83; P<0.0001).1 In an exploratory analysis of all patients, 55% of patients on Opdivo in combination with chemotherapy were alive at one year versus 48% of patients on chemotherapy alone.2 The combination also significantly reduced the risk of disease progression or death compared to chemotherapy alone (PD-L1 CPS ≥ 5: progression-free survival (PFS) HR 0.68; 95% CI: 0.58 to 0.79; P<0.0001).1

“In CheckMate -649, Opdivo plus chemotherapy combination significantly improved survival for patients with metastatic gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction cancer, and esophageal adenocarcinoma, reducing the risk of death by 20%.1 Additionally, 55% of patients were still alive at one year,” said Yelena Y. Janjigian, M.D., CheckMate -649 principal investigator and chief of gastrointestinal oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.2 “These findings are important, reinforcing the potential of this Opdivo-based combination as a standard of care for this population of patients in high need of treatment options that may extend their lives.”1,3,4

Opdivo is associated with the following Warnings and Precautions: severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions including pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis and hepatotoxicity, endocrinopathies, nephritis and renal dysfunction, dermatologic adverse reactions, other immune-mediated adverse reactions; infusion-related reactions; complications of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT); embryo-fetal toxicity; and increased mortality in patients with multiple myeloma when Opdivo is added to a thalidomide analogue and dexamethasone, which is not recommended outside of controlled clinical trials.1 Please see the Important Safety Information section below, as well as select safety information from CheckMate -649.

“We are focused on bringing transformative medicines to patients in need, and historically, there has been little progress for patients diagnosed with these metastatic gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas,” said Adam Lenkowsky, general manager and head, U.S., Oncology, Immunology, Cardiovascular, Bristol Myers Squibb.5,6,7,8 “As demonstrated in the CheckMate -649 trial, Opdivo is the first and only immunotherapy combined with chemotherapy to deliver superior overall survival versus chemotherapy alone in first-line metastatic gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction cancer, and esophageal adenocarcinoma.1,3,4 Today’s approval may offer these patients hope for the chance at a longer life.”1

The application was reviewed under the FDA’s Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) pilot program, which aims to ensure that safe and effective treatments are available to patients as early as possible.9 The review was also conducted under the FDA’s Project Orbis initiative, enabling concurrent review by the health authorities in Canada, Australia, Switzerland and Brazil.

Disclosure: Dr. Janjigian has provided advisory and speaking services to Bristol Myers Squibb.

About CheckMate -649

CheckMate -649 is a randomized, multicenter, open-label Phase 3 trial in patients with previously untreated advanced or metastatic gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction cancer, and esophageal adenocarcinoma.1,2 The trial excluded patients who were known human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive, or had untreated CNS metastases.1 In the trial, patients were randomized to receive Opdivo in combination with chemotherapy (patients with PD-L1 CPS ≥ 5: n=473; all randomized patients: n=789) or chemotherapy alone (patients with PD-L1 CPS ≥ 5: n=482; all randomized patients: n=792).1 Patients received one of the following treatments: Opdivo 240 mg in combination with mFOLFOX6 (fluorouracil, leucovorin and oxaliplatin) every two weeks or mFOLFOX6 every two weeks; or Opdivo 360 mg in combination with CapeOX (capecitabine and oxaliplatin) every three weeks or CapeOX every three weeks.1 Patients were treated until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or up to two years.1 The primary endpoints, assessed in patients with PD-L1 CPS ≥ 5, were PFS assessed by Blinded Independent Central Review (BICR) and OS.1 Secondary endpoints included OS and PFS in patients with PD-L1 CPS ≥1 and in all randomized patients, and overall response rate (ORR) as assessed by BICR in patients with PD-L1 CPS ≥ 1 and ≥ 5, and in all randomized patients.1,2

The FDA-approved dosing for Opdivo (injection for intravenous use) for patients with gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction cancer, and esophageal adenocarcinoma is 360 mg every three weeks (30-minute intravenous infusion) with fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy every three weeks or 240 mg every two weeks (30-minute intravenous infusion) with fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy every two weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or up to two years.1

Select Safety Profile from CheckMate -649 Study

Opdivo and/or chemotherapy were discontinued in 44% of patients and at least one dose was withheld in 76% of patients due to an adverse reaction.1 Serious adverse reactions occurred in 52% of patients treated with Opdivo in combination with chemotherapy.1 The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in ≥ 2% of patients treated with Opdivo in combination with chemotherapy were vomiting (3.7%), pneumonia (3.6%), anemia (3.6%), pyrexia (2.8%), diarrhea (2.7%), febrile neutropenia (2.6%), and pneumonitis (2.4%).1 Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 16 (2.0%) patients who were treated with Opdivo in combination with chemotherapy.1 The most common adverse reactions reported in ≥20% of patients treated with Opdivo in combination with chemotherapy were peripheral neuropathy (53%), nausea (48%), fatigue (44%), diarrhea (39%), vomiting (31%), decreased appetite (29%), abdominal pain (27%), constipation (25%), and musculoskeletal pain (20%).1

About Gastric Cancer, Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer, and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

Gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction cancer, and esophageal adenocarcinoma are classified as upper gastrointestinal cancers.10,11

  • Gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, is estimated to affect approximately 26,560 people in the United States in 2021 with 11,180 estimated deaths.11,12 Approximately 90-95% of all gastric cancers are adenocarcinomas.11 Currently, the five-year relative survival rate for metastatic gastric cancer is 6% in the United States.13,14
  • The gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) is the area of the body that connects the lower part of the esophagus to the stomach.11 The prevalence of GEJ cancer has continued to rise.6,15 Adenocarcinomas that start at the gastroesophageal junction tend to behave similarly to esophageal cancers and are treated like them, as well.10
  • Esophageal cancer is a type of gastrointestinal cancer that starts in the inner layer of the esophagus (the mucosa) and grows.10 In the United States, it is estimated there will be approximately 19,260 new cases of esophageal cancer diagnosed and 15,530 deaths resulted from the disease in 2021.16 The two most common types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.16 The five-year relative survival rate for metastatic esophageal cancer is 5% in the United States.17,18

INDICATION

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy, is indicated for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction cancer, and esophageal adenocarcinoma.



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