My long time buddie, Matt Herper, has a nice new piece out, in Forbes this morning. Do go read it all.
For some months now (see August 2016 legacy graphic, at right), we’ve all been wondering — given the close protein (i.e., structural) similarity between Merck’s Keytruda®, and BMS’s Opdivo® — just why BMS saw such a disappointment in lung cancers.
Tonight we should get a better sense of whether it is — as I have posited, since last August — simply a problem of poor study design, and not a ding against Opdivo’s overall efficacy. At AACR 2017, the full download will be out from under embargo after NYSE close, and then we will likely know. Here’s Matt’s take — and we may safely assume he’s seen the embargoed data — and will have an updating piece ready to go, at 6 PM EDT tonight. And. . . the salient bit:
. . . .New data presented at a medical conference show that combining Bristol-Myers Squibb’s two immune-boosting cancer drug appears to extend the lives of melanoma patients longer than using either alone.
But a big question lingers about one of the drugs, Opdivo: why did it fail to extend survival in patients with previously untreated non-small cell lung cancer, when a very similar drug from Merck proved effective? A trial being presentd this afternoon may yield some clues. Both studies are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. . . .
We shall keep a weather-eye on the horizon this afternoon, and into this evening, for a ping on topic. Smile. . . .