BMS Opdivo fails in brain cancer study

Sept. 5, 2019

Bristol-Myers Squibb said its blockbuster cancer immunotherapy, Opdivo, failed to meet a main goal of a late-stage trial, testing it in patients with a rare type of brain cancer.

The drug, when used along with the current standard of care for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), did not prevent the cancer from spreading when compared with the standard of care alone, concluded the Phase 3 "CheckMate 548" trial.

The drugmaker's efforts to increase treatment indications for Opdivo, have largely been unsuccessful. In June, the drug failed to meet its primary endpoint of overall survival in a common type of liver cancer. Later, a July lung cancer trial concluded that Opdivo with chemo didn't show a clear statistical benefit over chemo alone.

Despite setbacks, sales for Opdivo, which is currently approved for several types of tough-to-treat cancers including advanced non-small cell lung cancer, classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma and more, reached $6.74 billion last year and remains the company’s best-selling drug.

BMS says it will continue to evaluate the benefit the addition of Opdivo to the standard of care treatment regimen may bring to patients suffering from GBM.

Read the press release