Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers’ injectable form of Opdivo meets main goal in kidney cancer trial

Oct 19 (Reuters) – Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY.N) said on Thursday the injectable form of its blockbuster cancer drug Opdivo met the main goal in trial that had patients with a type of kidney cancer.

The new formulation of the drug that was tested in the trial used Halozyme Therapeutics’ (HALO.O) proprietary technology, which allows large volumes of Opdivo, currently administered intravenously, to be delivered as an injection under the skin.

“We believe this new option, given as a single injection administered in less than five minutes, could transform the treatment experience for both patients and physicians,” Gina Fusaro, an executive at Bristol Myers Squibb, said.

The trial also showed a non-inferior response rate to the subcutaneous drug, compared to its intravenous form.

Bristol Myers now plans to discuss with regulators the next steps for submission and approval of subcutaneous injections for multiple types of cancers.

Opdivo is currently approved in more than 65 countries for various forms of cancer either as the only drug or in combination with other medicines.

The company recorded $4.35 billion in Opdivo sales globally for the first half of this year.

Halozyme’s technology, which allows drugs to be more easily administered, is also being used by companies such as Roche (ROG.S), Argenx and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) for some of their treatments.

Halozyme CEO Helen Torley said in August that its technology could potentially keep the subceutaneous form of certain drugs out of pricing negotiations with the U.S. government’s Medicare health insurance program, even if their intravenous forms are part of the negotiations.

Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Shinjini Ganguli and Shounak Dasgupta

Source: Reuters