Bristol-Myers SquibbBMY and Seattle Genetics, Inc. SGEN announced the initiation of a phase I/II study on a combination of the former's immunotherapy, Opdivo and the latter's antibody-drug conjugate, Adcetris. The study will evaluate the combination for patients with CD30-expressing relapsed or refractory B-cell and T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, peripheral T-cell lymphoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
We note that this is the second of the two studies being conducted under a collaboration agreement between Bristol-Myers and Seattle Genetics, which was announced earlier this year. The first study is evaluating Adcetris plus Opdivo for the treatment of patients suffering from relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma.
Given that Adcetris is the only marketed product at Seattle Genetics, approval for additional indications should help in increasing the eligible patient population. In the first nine months of 2015, Adcetris generated revenues of $163 million, up approximately 24% year over year.
Meanwhile, Bristol-Myers has been aggressively inking deals with health care companies like Eli Lilly LLY and others to study its high-profile immuno-oncology drug, Opdivo, to be used either alone or in combination with other therapies in multiple tumor types. The drug generated revenues of $305 million in the third quarter of 2015 compared with $122 million in the previous quarter. Currently, the company continues to work on label expansion of the drug.
With licensing agreements and acquisitions in the highly lucrative immuno-oncology space continuing to attract attention, we expect to see more such deals over the coming months.
Bristol-Myers currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Pfizer Inc. PFE is another well-placed stock in the health care sector with the same Zacks Rank as Bristol-Myers.
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