Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Drug For Lung Cancer Gets FDA Nod
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY)’s share prices were found climbing an unprecedented high of 5% when the FDA approved its ‘Opdivo’ to fight lung cancer. The approval from the regulatory body came months before the scheduled date and was based on just three months of trial results. As extension of life in patients suffering from non-small cell lung cancer types, was proven by the trial results, the approval has been swift.
Non-small cell lung cancer is believed to be the most common type of death causing lung cancer, in the U.S. According to the FDA Head of Hematology and Oncology Product Evaluation, Richard Pazdur, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY)’s Opdivo, will allow a ‘survival advantage’ for patients of non-small lung cancer. Additionally, Opdivo will provide data for further lung cancer trials and patient care, he noted.
Opdivo is expected to cater to one of the largest oncology segments in the market today. With its immune system boosting capability to fight lung cancer, Opdivo will now open a new window of treatment.
Until now, the line of treatment for non-small cell lung cancer has been chemotherapy, using platinum as the source. If the cancer progresses even after the treatment then there was no further proven line of treatment. It is now hoped that Opdivo will provide a further scope of improvement, as proven in its trial results. It may prove to be successful considering the fact that it is being used in treating advanced stages of one of the deadliest of skin cancer diseases, melanoma.
The promise that Opdivo holds is due to the changes introduced in the new class of medicine used in the drug – PD-1 inhibitors. The inhibitors, as the name suggests are able to ‘pick’ a blocking agent in tumors, which allows them to hide from the immune system. The inhibitors will then ‘reveal’ the tumor, thereby allowing the body’s immune system to recognize it and attack the cancer causing cells.
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