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Updates on the Adcetris and Opdivo Combination

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Adcetris and Opdivo combination

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Seattle Genetics (SGEN) are evaluating a combination of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) with Seattle Genetics’ Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) for the treatment of refractory or relapsed classical Hodgkin Lymphoma. The companies released updates on the data from their Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials evaluating the combination at the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma in Switzerland on June 15, 2017.

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Seattle’s Adcetris

Seattle Genetics’s Adcetris is an antibody-drug conjugate used to treat patients with:

  • classical Hodgkin Lymphoma for previously treated patients where an ASCT (autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) has failed, two multi-agent chemotherapies have failed, or there’s a high risk of relapse or progression after ASCT
  • systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma for previously treated patients where at least one multi-agent chemotherapy has failed

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo is a human IgG4 anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody used to treat patients with:

  • non-small cell lung cancer for previously treated patients
  • squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in patients reporting a relapse or progression in the disease after previous treatment
  • metastatic melanoma that can’t be removed by surgery
  • renal cell carcinoma for previously treated patients
  • urothelial carcinoma, also termed “bladder cancer,” in previously treated patients

Opdivo is also used to treat classical Hodgkin Lymphoma in patients where the disease relapsed or progressed after ASCT and treatment with Adcetris or the patient has undergone at least three prior treatments including ASCT.

The combination

The combination of Adcetris and Opdivo was used to treat relapsed classical Hodgkin Lymphoma in previously treated patients. The Phase 1 and Phase 2 study had 62 patients with refractory or relapsed classical Hodgkin Lymphoma where previous frontline treatments had failed. The latest updates from the Phase 1 and Phase 2 study were released by the company on June 15, 2017. We’ll discuss the evaluation in the next part.

To divest company-specific risks, investors can consider ETFs like the Fidelity MSCI Healthcare ETF (FHLC), which holds 3.1% of its total assets in Bristol-Myers Squibb. FHLC also holds 2.9% in Biogen (BIIB), 3.6% in Amgen (AMGN), and 6.7% in Pfizer (PFE).

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