PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended approval of Opdivo (nivolumab) flat dosing schedule of 240 mg infused over 30 minutes every two weeks (Q2W) or 480 mg infused over 60 minutes every four weeks (Q4W) for the adjuvant treatment of adult patients with melanoma with involvement of lymph nodes or metastatic disease who have undergone complete resection. The CHMP recommendation will now be reviewed by the European Commission (EC), which has the authority to approve medicines for the European Union (EU).
“This positive CHMP opinion for Opdivo two and four-week dosing reinforces our commitment to offering flexible dosing options for patients, caregivers and healthcare providers,” said Ralu Vlad, Pharm.D, development team lead, product design and delivery, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We look forward to the European Commission’s decision and potentially bringing this new Opdivo dosing regimen to patients as quickly as possible.”
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) located in the skin. Metastatic melanoma is the deadliest form of the disease and occurs when cancer spreads beyond the surface of the skin to other organs. The incidence of melanoma has been increasing steadily for the last 30 years. In the United States, 91,270 new diagnoses of melanoma and more than 9,320 related deaths are estimated for 2018. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that by 2035, melanoma incidence will reach 424,102, with 94,308 related deaths. Melanoma is mostly curable when treated in its very early stages; however, survival rates are roughly halved if regional lymph nodes are involved. Patients in the United States diagnosed with advanced melanoma classified as Stage IV historically have a five-year survival rate of 15% to 20% and a 10-year survival of 10% to 15%.
Adjuvant Therapy in Melanoma
Melanoma is separated into five staging categories (stages 0-4) based on the in-situ feature, thickness and ulceration of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, and how far the cancer has spread beyond lymph nodes.
Stage 3 melanoma has reached the regional lymph nodes but has not yet spread to distant lymph nodes or to other parts of the body (metastasized) and requires surgical resection of the primary tumor as well as the involved lymph nodes. Some patients may also be treated with adjuvant therapy. Despite surgical intervention, most patients experience disease recurrence and progress to metastatic disease.
Bristol-Myers Squibb: Advancing Oncology Research
At Bristol-Myers Squibb, patients are at the center of everything we do. The focus of our research is to increase quality, long-term survival for patients and make cure a possibility. Through a unique multidisciplinary approach powered by translational science, we harness our deep scientific experience in oncology and Immuno-Oncology (I-O) research to identify novel treatments tailored to individual patient needs. Our researchers are developing a diverse, purposefully built pipeline designed to target different immune system pathways and address the complex and specific interactions between the tumor, its microenvironment and the immune system. We source innovation internally, and in collaboration with academia, government, advocacy groups and biotechnology companies, to help make the promise of transformational medicines, like I-O, a reality for patients.