Exelixis, Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced the companies have entered into a clinical development collaboration to evaluate CABOMETYX™ (cabozantinib), Exelixis’ small molecule inhibitor of receptor tyrosine kinases, with Opdivo (nivolumab), Bristol-Myers Squibb’s PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, either alone or in combination with Yervoy (ipilimumab). The clinical development program, which will be co-funded by the companies, is expected to include a phase 3 pivotal trial in first-line renal cell carcinoma, with additional trials planned in bladder cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and potentially other tumor types.
“The safety and efficacy data from the phase 1 clinical trial evaluating CABOMETYX in combination with Opdivo are consistent with the preclinical scientific rationale for combining these two therapeutic modalities,” said Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Exelixis. “This clinical development collaboration will provide the resources and collaborative framework to fully evaluate the potential for this combination, with and without Yervoy, in both late-stage pivotal and exploratory trials in a variety of forms of cancer. We look forward to working with Bristol-Myers Squibb to further understand the role these combination therapies may play in helping patients on a global basis.”
“Combining our Immuno-Oncology portfolio with promising agents which target different and complementary pathways is a key component of our strategy to improve treatment outcomes for patients,” said Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of Development, Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We look forward to working with Exelixis, bringing together our knowledge and experience in oncology, to evaluate the potential clinical value of combining these therapies to treat multiple tumors.”
The clinical development collaboration builds upon previously published preclinical and clinical data that provide a scientific rationale for combining CABOMETYX with immunotherapies, including phase 1 data of CABOMETYX in combination with Opdivo in patients with previously treated genitourinary tumors that were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2016 Congress. Updated results from this part of the study as well as results from a second part evaluating the combination of CABOMETYX, Opdivo and Yervoy were presented during the poster discussion session (Abstract #293) on February 17 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2017 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, which was held in Orlando, Florida, February 16 – 18, 2017.
CABOMETYX and Opdivo have both received approval in the United States and European Union for specific uses in previously treated renal cell carcinoma, and both compounds are the subject of ongoing, global phase 3 pivotal trials in hepatocellular carcinoma. Opdivo is approved in the United States for previously treated bladder cancer.