Existing Chemotherapy Drugs for Lymphoma



Drugs for lymphoma

Lymphoma is a type of cancer beginning in lymph nodes. There remains a significant unmet need for relapsed or refractory to current treatments. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) is focused on developing drugs for unmet medical needs in the immuno-oncology segment.

Opdivo, a part of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s alliance with Ono Pharmaceutical is a human programmed death receptor protein -1 (or PD-1) blocking antibody that reduces tumor growth by blocking the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands.

As discussed, Opdivo is under phase II study for the use in the treatment of relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A few of the existing drugs used for the treatment of lymphoma follow:

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Seattle Genetics’ Adcetris

Seattle Genetics’ (SGEN) Adcetris is one of the drugs used for the treatment of classical Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for patients who have been previously treated with autologous stem cell transplant. It is also indicated for use in the treatment of systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma after at least one prior multi-agent chemotherapy treatment.

Seattle Genetics has collaborated with Takeda Pharmaceuticals (TKPYY) to develop and commercialize Adcetris outside the US and Canada markets.

Celgene’s Istodax

Celgene’s (CELG) Istodax is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of peripheral or cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in patients who have received at least one prior therapy. The international nonproprietary name for Istodax is Romidepsin.

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Spectrum Pharmaceuticals’s Folotyn

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals’ (SPPI) Folotyn is a medicine for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma.

Few multi-agent chemotherapy combinations

There are a few multi-agent chemotherapy treatments used for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These include the following:

  • Chlorambucil, vinblastine, procarbazine, and prednisolone
  • Gemcitabine, cisplatin, and prednisolone
  • Doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine

Investors can consider ETFs like the iShares US Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE) which holds ~7.0% of its total assets in Bristol-Myers Squibb, or the Vanguard Healthcare ETF (VHT), which holds ~3.5% of its total assets in Bristol-Myers Squibb, in order to divest the risk.


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