Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Ono Pharmaceutical of Japan have agreed to jointly develop and commercialise multiple immunotherapies as single agents and combination regimens for cancer patients in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
As part of the agreement, the partners will jointly develop and commercialise Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) across a range of tumour types.
Development costs and commercial profits will be shared equally when Opdivo is used in combination with any BMS compounds.
The deal includes three additional early-stage clinical immuno-oncology assets from Bristol-Myers Squibb, including lirilumab, an antibody that blocks the KIR receptor on natural killer cells; urelumab, an agonist of the CD137 co-stimulatory receptor; and BMS-986016, a LAG3 immune checkpoint inhibitor.
The companies will jointly pursue development of monotherapy and combination regimens, with Opdivo as the foundational therapy in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and leverage global clinical trials by including patients from the three countries.
Lamberto Andreotti, Chief Executive of Bristol-Myers Squibb, said the collaboration supports the company's goal to maximise the full potential of its immuno-oncology portfolio for patients worldwide.
'This collaboration combines our leadership in immuno-oncology with both companiesí experience and capabilities in Asia, and strengthens our long-standing relationship with Ono,' he said.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono will jointly develop all collaboration products in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Opdivo is a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor approved in Japan for the treatment of unresectable melanoma, making it the first product of this type to receive regulatory approval anywhere in the world. It is being developed in multiple tumour types in more than 35 clinical trials.
Yervoy, a CTLA-4 immune checkpoint inhibitor, approved in Taiwan for the treatment of advanced melanoma in patients who have received prior therapy, is in late-stage development as a potential treatment option for melanoma, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in Japan.