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Bristol-Myers Squibb, MD Anderson Ink Immuno-Oncology Research Deal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Bristol-Myers Squibb and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced today that they have formed a partnership to investigate new strategies for using the drugmaker's immuno-oncology agents Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) to treat early- and advanced-stage lung cancer.

Opdivo and Yervoy are immune checkpoint inhibitors approved for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy, and for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma, respectively.

Under the collaboration, the partners will use MD Anderson's immunotherapy platform — which links immunologic, genomic, and proteomic data across a range of cancer types — in preclinical and clinical studies testing the drugs alone, or in combination with each other or other treatment options.

The findings will be used by Bristol-Myers Squibb to optimize therapeutic combinations for future clinical studies, develop next-generation immuno-oncology drugs, and identify new biomarkers to differentiate responders and non-responders in lung cancer.

Additional terms of the deal, which follows immuno-oncology research agreements between Bristol-Myers Squibb and MD Anderson in 2014 and 2015, were not disclosed

"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," John Heymach, chair of thoracic/head and neck medical oncology at MD Anderson, said in a statement.