Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Ono Pharmaceutical have entered into a strategic agreement to jointly develop and commercialize multiple immunotherapies as single agents and combination regimens for cancer patients in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Under the deal, both the firms will jointly develop and commercialize Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) across a broad range of tumor types.
Development costs and commercial profits will be shared equally when Opdivo is used in combination with any BMS compounds.
The deal has three additional early-stage clinical immuno-oncology assets from BMS, which include lirilumab, an antibody that blocks the KIR receptor on natural killer cells, urelumab, an agonist of the CD137 co-stimulatory receptor, and BMS-986016, a LAG3 immune checkpoint inhibitor.
Both the firms will jointly pursue development of monotherapy and combination regimens, with Opdivo as the foundational therapy in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and leverage global clinical trials by including patients from the three countries.
Bristol-Myers Squibb chief executive officer Lamberto Andreotti said the collaboration with Ono supports the company’s goal to maximize the full potential of our immuno-oncology portfolio for patients worldwide.
"This collaboration combines our leadership in immuno-oncology with both companies’ experience and capabilities in Asia, and strengthens our long-standing relationship with Ono," Andreotti said.
In Japan, the PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor ‘Opdivo’ is approved for treatment of patients with unresectable melanoma, making it the first PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor to receive regulatory approval anywhere in the world.
Currently, Opdivo is being developed in multiple tumor types in more than 35 clinical trials.
Yervoy, a CTLA-4 immune checkpoint inhibitor, is approved in Taiwan to treat patients with advanced melanoma who have received prior therapy.
The drug is currently in late-stage development as a potential treatment option for melanoma, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in Japan.
Image: BMS and Ono will jointly develop and commercialize Opdivo and Yervoy across a broad range of tumor types. Photo: courtesy of jscreationzs/ freedigitalphotos.net