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Opdivo + Yervoy regimen receives expanded FDA approval

25 January 2016  •  Author: Victoria White

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with Yervoy (ipilimumab) for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type and BRAF V600 mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma. 


This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on progression-free survival (PFS). This approval expands the original indication for the Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type unresectable or metastatic melanoma to include patients, regardless of BRAF mutational status, based on data from the Phase 3 CheckMate -067 trial, in which PFS and overall survival (OS) were co-primary endpoints.

Commenting on the announcement,  Chris Boerner, Head of U.S. Commercial, Bristol-Myers Squibb, said, “For nearly a decade, our researchers have worked tirelessly to find treatment options that could improve outcomes for patients with late-stage melanoma, a particularly aggressive cancer, and we are incredibly proud of today’s approval to expand the use of the Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen to include patients with BRAF mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma. CheckMate -067 is the first Phase 3 study to observe the efficacy and safety of both Opdivo as a single-agent as well as in combination with Yervoy versus Yervoy alone. To make this treatment option available to more patients is truly a milestone in the fight against this deadly disease.”

Expanded use of Opdivo as a single-agent

The FDA also expanded the use of Opdivo as a single-agent to include previously untreated BRAF mutation-positive advanced melanoma patients. Opdivo was approved by the FDA in November 2015, for use in previously untreated patients with BRAF V600 wild-type unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

“Patients with metastatic melanoma historically have a very challenging disease. Recent advances in our understanding of the immune response to cancer has yielded therapies which provide meaningful responses and hope. The combination of two Immuno-Oncology treatments, nivolumab and ipilimumab, has been shown to provide these patients with a much needed improvement in progression-free survival and response rates,” said Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD, Chief, Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service, Department of Medicine and Ludwig Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “This expanded approval for the nivolumab and ipilimumab regimen provides more advanced melanoma patients with an Immuno-Oncology combination treatment, and the potential for improved outcomes.”

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