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Bristol-Myers And MD Anderson Cancer Center Makes Fresh Research Alliance In Immuno-Oncology Focused On Lung-Cancer

R. Chandrasekaran

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center revealed Tuesday a new clinical research alliance to assess innovative tactics for the potential use of Bristol-Myers Squibb's immuno-oncology (I-O) agents Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) to treat early- and advanced-stage lung cancer patients.

Bristol-Myers said the alliance would help support multiple Phase 1 and 2 clinical studies testing Opdivo as monotherapy, in combination with Yervoy, or in regimens with other agents, radiation or surgery in a range of clinical settings. The company added that these trials would also add extensive translational work including exploration of novel biomarkers to better differentiate responders from non-responders in lung cancer and preclinical studies of next generation immunotherapeutic agents, which may be used to expand the benefits to larger numbers of patients.

The company's MD, Global Clinical Research Lead, Oncology, Jean Viallet, said, "Strategic collaborations with academia have been central to helping Bristol-Myers Squibb develop and deliver new immuno-oncology treatment options to patients. This collaboration will leverage the considerable experience of MD Anderson to accelerate and expand our scientific and clinical understanding of how the immune system and other treatments might work together to fight cancer."

Similarly, Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson, John Heymach, also reacted to say, "Immunotherapy agents, such as nivolumab, already have prolonged the lives of many patients with metastatic NSCLC. Through our multidisciplinary collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, we look forward to exploring innovative ways to integrate immunotherapy with other treatments, including surgery and radiation, with the goal of improving standard of care and expanding treatment options for all patients, including those with early stage disease."

The said that in September 2014, both reached an an I-O clinical collaboration with a focus on the assessment of Bristol-Myers Squibb I-O assets for the treatment of hematologic malignancies, like acute and chronic leukemia. Similarly, in December lastyear, Bristol-Myers Squibb and MD Anderson have signed a collaboration deal to leverage MD Anderson's immunotherapy platform to help to link immunologic data with the genomic and proteomic platforms across a range of cancer types.

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