News Briefs

Bristol Myers Squibb will voluntarily withdraw the U.S. indication for Opdivo (nivolumab) as a monotherapy for people with hepatocellular carcinoma who previously were treated with sorafenib. The move follows an April meeting of the agency’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee to discuss whether to keep certain indications for a handful of checkpoint inhibitors that target programmed death-1/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) and received accelerated approval but had not met post-marketing requirements demonstrating confirmatory benefit. Opdivo received a negative vote for this indication, as did Merck & Co., Inc.’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of people with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma whose tumors express PD-L1 with disease progression on or after at least two lines of therapy including fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy and, if appropriate, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2/neu-targeted therapy. Merck said recently that it would voluntarily withdraw that indication in the U.S.

Bristol Myers Squibb also will withdraw the indication for Istodax (romidepsin) as monotherapy for the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma in adults who have received at least one prior therapy. The FDA initially gave the drug from Celgene Corp., now a Bristol Myers Squibb subsidiary, accelerated approval. A confirmatory Phase III trial did not meet the primary efficacy endpoint of progression free survival.

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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