Post-MYSTIC, Bristol Renews CTLA-4 Vows, But Is "Not Wedded" In Lung Cancer
Company distances its CheckMate 227 CTLA-4/PD-1 combo study from AstraZeneca's doomed MYSTIC trial, noting big differences, but also makes it clear that its options are very open for monotherapy and chemo combos in first-line lung cancer.
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Results from a number of Phase III studies in non-small cell lung cancer for major immuno-oncology players are coming soon, with potential to change the market dynamics.
The use of the emerging tumor mutation burden biomarker and its relevance to the outcome of the CheckMate 227 study of Opdivo/Yervoy in first-line lung cancer was a hot topic during Bristol's Q3 earnings call, but questions remain.
Bristol's $2.4 billion buyout of Medarex in 2009 yielded value equivalent or greater to that realized in larger M&A transactions signed that year, such as Pfizer/Wyeth, Merck/Schering-Plough and Roche/Genentech. The deal made BMS a leader in immuno-oncology and by most accounts is the highlight of the pharma's "string of pearls" strategy.