Monday, April 3, 2017

Good Melanoma News For Opdivo® -- And Hopefully Some Clarity Tonight -- In That Lung Cancer Study Null Outcome...

My long time buddie, Matt Herper, has a nice new piece out, in Forbes this morning. Do go read it all.

For some months now (see August 2016 legacy graphic, at right), we've all been wondering -- given the close protein (i.e., structural) similarity between Merck's Keytruda®, and BMS's Opdivo® -- just why BMS saw such a disappointment in lung cancers.

Tonight we should get a better sense of whether it is -- as I have posited, since last August -- simply a problem of poor study design, and not a ding against Opdivo's overall efficacy. At AACR 2017, the full download will be out from under embargo after NYSE close, and then we will likely know. Here's Matt's take -- and we may safely assume he's seen the embargoed data -- and will have an updating piece ready to go, at 6 PM EDT tonight. And. . . the salient bit:

. . . .New data presented at a medical conference show that combining Bristol-Myers Squibb’s two immune-boosting cancer drug appears to extend the lives of melanoma patients longer than using either alone.

But a big question lingers about one of the drugs, Opdivo: why did it fail to extend survival in patients with previously untreated non-small cell lung cancer, when a very similar drug from Merck proved effective? A trial being presentd this afternoon may yield some clues. Both studies are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. . . .

We shall keep a weather-eye on the horizon this afternoon, and into this evening, for a ping on topic. Smile. . . .


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