Saturday, December 6, 2014

At ASH, BMS's Opdivo® (Nivolumab) Outshines Merck's Keytruda® (Pembrolizumab) In Hodgkin's Lymphoma

It is still pretty early-on, in these particular clinical trial processes, and only partial results are available from the ongoing trials (i.e., not remotely complete) -- so the data sets are smallish -- and, I suppose, in fairness -- they could reverse, as the deeper results sets are tallied. But on the current partial results at ASH, this weekend, it looks like nivolumab, branded as Opdivo® by BMS, is pulling away from Merck's Keytruda®. Both are broad-acting anti PD-1 oncology agents. Both have shown revolutionary effectiveness in a surprisingly wide range of cancers. But nivolumab may be showing more robust efficacy here, just as we predicted about a half-year ago, now.

In any event, here's the erstwhile John Carroll's take, for FierceBiotech, on the ground in San Francisco, at ASH:

. . . .Bristol-Myers' Opdivo could start breaking away from Merck's drug with better efficacy results. Bristol has achieved an 87% response rate in an early Hodgkin lymphoma study of its own. . . .

For Bristol-Myers' Opdivo (nivolumab, the 87% response rate broke down into a 17% complete response rate with 70% achieving a partial response. 13% experienced stable disease. "Of the patients who achieved a complete and partial response, 60% (n=12) had their first response within eight weeks (range: 3-39 weeks), investigators reported. "Data from the study also showed a progression-free survival rate of 86% at 24 weeks, meaning patients lived six months longer without their disease worsening. . . ."

Obviously, there are a range of studies -- on other cancers -- underway. And so, the results will be manifold, in the coming months, but we will stick with our prediction that BMS wins the day, here. A great evening up north here, to stay warm by the fire. . . so I will. . . .

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