FDA Approves Opdualag (nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw) for the Treatment of Patients with Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma
PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE) -- March 18, 2022 -- Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) today announced that Opdualag (nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw),anew, first-in-class,fixed-dose combination of nivolumab and relatlimab, administered as a single intravenous infusion, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age or older with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.1 The approval is based on the Phase 2/3 RELATIVITY-047 trial, which compared Opdualag (n=355) to nivolumab alone (n=359).1,2
The trial met its primary endpoint, progression-free survival (PFS), and Opdualag more than doubled the median PFS when compared to nivolumabmonotherapy, 10.1 months (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 6.4 to 15.7) versus 4.6 months (95% CI: 3.4 to 5.6); (Hazard Ratio [HR] 0.75; 95% CI: 0.62 to 0.92, P=0.0055).1 The Opdualag safety profile was similar to that previously reported for nivolumab.1,2 No new safety events were identified with the combination when compared to nivolumab monotherapy.1,2 Grade 3/4 drug-related adverse events were 18.9% in the Opdualag arm compared to 9.7% in the nivolumab arm.2 Drug-related adverse events leading to discontinuation were 14.6% in the Opdualag arm compared to 6.7% in the nivolumab arm.2
“Since the approval of the first immune checkpoint inhibitor more than 10 years ago, we’ve seen immunotherapy, alone and in combination, revolutionize the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma,” said F. Stephen Hodi, M.D., director of the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.3 “Today’s approval is particularly significant, as itintroduces an entirely new combination of two immunotherapies that may act together to help improve anti-tumor response by targeting two different immune checkpoints — LAG-3 and PD-1.”1,2
Opdualag is associated with the following Warnings & Precautions: severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions (IMARs) including pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis with renal dysfunction, dermatologic adverse reactions, myocarditis and other immune-mediated adverse reactions; infusion-related reactions; complications of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT); and embryo-fetal toxicity.1 Please see Important Safety Information below.
“While we have made great progress in the treatment of advanced melanoma over the past decade, we are committed to expanding dual immunotherapy treatment options for these patients,” said Samit Hirawat, chief medical officer, global drug development, Bristol Myers Squibb.3 “Inhibiting LAG-3 with relatlimab, in a fixed-dose combination with nivolumab, represents a new treatment approach that builds on our legacy of bringing innovative immunotherapy options to patients. The approval of a new medicine that includes our third distinct checkpoint inhibitor marks an important step forward in giving patients more options beyond monotherapy treatment.”
Lymphocyte activation gene-3 (LAG-3) and programmed death-1 (PD-1) are two distinct inhibitory immune checkpoints that are often co-expressed on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, thus contributing to tumor-mediated T-cell exhaustion.2 The combination of nivolumab (anti-PD-1) and relatlimab (anti-LAG-3) results in increased T-cell activation compared to the activity of either antibody alone.1 Relatlimab (in combination with nivolumab) is the first LAG-3-blocking antibody to demonstrate a benefit in a Phase 3 study.1 It is the third checkpoint inhibitor (along with anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4) for Bristol Myers Squibb.
“Today’s approval is exciting news and offers new hope to the melanoma community. The availability of this treatment combination may enable patients to potentially benefit from a new, first-in-class dual immunotherapy,” said Michael Kaplan, president and CEO, Melanoma Research Alliance.
The FDA-approved dosing for adult patients and pediatric patients 12 years of age or older who weigh at least 40 kg is 480 mg nivolumab and 160 mg relatlimab administered intravenously every four weeks.1 The recommended dosage for pediatric patients 12 years of age or older who weigh less than 40 kg, and pediatric patients younger than 12 years of age, has not been established.1
This application was approved under the FDA’s Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) pilot program, which aims to ensure that safe and effective treatments are available to patients as early as possible.4 The review was also conducted under the FDA’s Project Orbis initiative, which enabled concurrent review by the health authorities in Australia, Brazil and Switzerland, where the application remains under review.
RELATIVITY-047 is a global, randomized, double-blind Phase 2/3 study evaluating the fixed-dose combination of nivolumab and relatlimab versus nivolumab alone in patients with previously untreated metastatic or unresectable melanoma.1,2 The trial excluded patients with active autoimmune disease, medical conditions requiring systemic treatment with moderate or high dose corticosteroids or immunosuppressive medications, uveal melanoma, and active or untreated brain or leptomeningeal metastases.1 The primary endpoint of the trial is progression-free survival (PFS) determined by Blinded Independent Central Review (BICR) using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST v1.1).1 The secondary endpoints are overall survival (OS) and objective response rate (ORR).1 A total of 714 patients were randomized 1:1 to receive a fixed-dose combination of nivolumab (480 mg) and relatlimab (160 mg) or nivolumab (480 mg) by intravenous infusion every four weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.1
Select Safety Profile From RELATIVITY-047
Adverse reactions leading to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag occurred in 18% of patients.1Opdualag was interrupted due to an adverse reaction in 43% of patients.1 Serious adverse reactions occurred in 36% of patients treated with Opdualag.1 The most frequent (≥1%) serious adverse reactions were adrenal insufficiency (1.4%), anemia (1.4%), colitis (1.4%), pneumonia (1.4%), acute myocardial infarction (1.1%), back pain (1.1%), diarrhea (1.1%), myocarditis (1.1%), and pneumonitis (1.1%).1 Fatal adverse reactions occurred in three (0.8%) patients treated with Opdualag and included hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, acute edema of the lung, and pneumonitis.1 The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions were musculoskeletal pain (45%), fatigue (39%), rash (28%), pruritus (25%), and diarrhea (24%).1 The Opdualag safety profile was similar to that previously reported for nivolumab.1,2 No new safety events were identified with the combination when compared to nivolumab monotherapy.1,2 Grade 3/4 drug-related adverse events were 18.9% in the Opdualag arm compared to 9.7% in the nivolumab arm.2 Drug-related adverse events leading to discontinuation were 14.6% in the Opdualag arm compared to 6.7% in the nivolumab arm.2
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) located in the skin.5 Metastatic melanoma is the deadliest form of the disease and occurs when cancer spreads beyond the surface of the skin to other organs.5,6 The incidence of melanoma has been increasing steadily for the last 30 years.5,6 In the United States, approximately 99,780 new diagnoses of melanoma and about 7,650 related deaths are estimated for 2022.5 Melanoma can be mostly treatable when caught in its very early stages; however, survival rates can decrease as the disease progresses.6
Opdualag TM (nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw) is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age or older with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.
OPDUALAG IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Severe and Fatal Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
Immune-mediated adverse reactions (IMARs) listed herein may not include all possible severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions.
IMARs which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue. IMARs can occur at any time after starting treatment with a LAG-3 and PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies. While IMARs usually manifest during treatment, they can also occur after discontinuation of Opdualag. Early identification and management of IMARs are essential to ensure safe use. Monitor patients closely for symptoms and signs that may be clinical manifestations of underlying IMARs. Evaluate clinical chemistries including liver enzymes, creatinine, and thyroid function at baseline and periodically during treatment. In cases of suspected IMARs, initiate appropriate workup to exclude alternative etiologies, including infection. Institute medical management promptly, including specialty consultation as appropriate.
Withhold or permanently discontinue Opdualag depending on severity (please see section 2 Dosage and Administration in the accompanying Full Prescribing Information). In general, if Opdualag requires interruption or discontinuation, administer systemic corticosteroid therapy (1 to 2 mg/kg/day prednisone or equivalent) until improvement to Grade 1 or less. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Consider administration of other systemic immunosuppressants in patients whose IMARs are not controlled with corticosteroid therapy. Toxicity management guidelines for adverse reactions that do not necessarily require systemic steroids (e.g., endocrinopathies and dermatologic reactions) are discussed below.
Opdualag can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis, which may be fatal. In patients treated with other PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies, the incidence of pneumonitis is higher in patients who have received prior thoracic radiation. Immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 3.7% (13/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, including Grade 3 (0.6%), and Grade 2 (2.3%) adverse reactions. Pneumonitis led to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag in 0.8% and withholding of Opdualag in 1.4% of patients.
Opdualag can cause immune-mediated colitis, defined as requiring use of corticosteroids and no clear alternate etiology. A common symptom included in the definition of colitis was diarrhea. Cytomegalovirus infection/reactivation has been reported in patients with corticosteroid-refractory immune-mediated colitis. In cases of corticosteroid-refractory colitis, consider repeating infectious workup to exclude alternative etiologies.
Immune-mediated diarrhea or colitis occurred in 7% (24/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, including Grade 3 (1.1%) and Grade 2 (4.5%) adverse reactions. Colitis led to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag in 2% and withholding of Opdualag in 2.8% of patients.
Opdualag can cause immune-mediated hepatitis, defined as requiring the use of corticosteroids and no clear alternate etiology.
Immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 6% (20/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, including Grade 4 (0.6%), Grade 3 (3.4%), and Grade 2 (1.4%) adverse reactions. Hepatitis led to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag in 1.7% and withholding of Opdualag in 2.3% of patients.
Opdualag can cause primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency, hypophysitis, thyroid disorders, and Type 1 diabetes mellitus, which can be present with diabetic ketoacidosis. Withhold or permanently discontinue Opdualag depending on severity (please see section 2 Dosage and Administration in the accompanying Full Prescribing Information).
For Grade 2 or higher adrenal insufficiency, initiate symptomatic treatment, including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. In patients receiving Opdualag, adrenal insufficiency occurred in 4.2% (15/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, including Grade 3 (1.4%) and Grade 2 (2.5%) adverse reactions. Adrenal insufficiency led to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag in 1.1% and withholding of Opdualag in 0.8% of patients.
Hypophysitis can present with acute symptoms associated with mass effect such as headache, photophobia, or visual field defects. Hypophysitis can cause hypopituitarism; initiate hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Hypophysitis occurred in 2.5% (9/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, including Grade 3 (0.3%) and Grade 2 (1.4%) adverse reactions. Hypophysitis led to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag in 0.3% and withholding of Opdualag in 0.6% of patients.
Thyroiditis can present with or without endocrinopathy. Hypothyroidism can follow hyperthyroidism; initiate hormone replacement or medical management as clinically indicated. Thyroiditis occurred in 2.8% (10/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, including Grade 2 (1.1%) adverse reactions. Thyroiditis did not lead to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag. Thyroiditis led to withholding of Opdualag in 0.3% of patients. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 6% (22/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, including Grade 2 (1.4%) adverse reactions. Hyperthyroidism did not lead to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag. Hyperthyroidism led to withholding of Opdualag in 0.3% of patients. Hypothyroidism occurred in 17% (59/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, including Grade 2 (11%) adverse reactions. Hypothyroidism led to the permanent discontinuation of Opdualag in 0.3% and withholding of Opdualag in 2.5% of patients.
Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of diabetes; initiate treatment with insulin as clinically indicated. Diabetes occurred in 0.3% (1/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, a Grade 3 (0.3%) adverse reaction, and no cases of diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetes did not lead to the permanent discontinuation or withholding of Opdualag in any patient.
Immune-Mediated Nephritis with Renal Dysfunction
Opdualag can cause immune-mediated nephritis, which is defined as requiring use of steroids and no clear etiology. In patients receiving Opdualag, immune-mediated nephritis and renal dysfunction occurred in 2% (7/355) of patients, including Grade 3 (1.1%) and Grade 2 (0.8%) adverse reactions. Immune-mediated nephritis and renal dysfunction led to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag in 0.8% and withholding of Opdualag in 0.6% of patients.
Withhold or permanently discontinue Opdualag depending on severity (please see section 2 Dosage and Administration in the accompanying Full Prescribing Information).
Immune-Mediated Dermatologic Adverse Reactions
Opdualag can cause immune-mediated rash or dermatitis, defined as requiring use of steroids and no clear alternate etiology. Exfoliative dermatitis, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and Drug Rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms has occurred with PD-1/L-1 blocking antibodies. Topical emollients and/or topical corticosteroids may be adequate to treat mild to moderate non-exfoliative rashes.
Withhold or permanently discontinue Opdualag depending on severity (please see section 2 Dosage and Administration in the accompanying Full Prescribing Information).
Immune-mediated rash occurred in 9% (33/355) of patients, including Grade 3 (0.6%) and Grade 2 (3.4%) adverse reactions. Immune-mediated rash did not lead to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag. Immune-mediated rash led to withholding of Opdualag in 1.4% of patients.
Opdualag can cause immune-mediated myocarditis, which is defined as requiring use of steroids and no clear alternate etiology. The diagnosis of immune-mediated myocarditis requires a high index of suspicion. Patients with cardiac or cardio-pulmonary symptoms should be assessed for potential myocarditis. If myocarditis is suspected, withhold dose, promptly initiate high dose steroids (prednisone or methylprednisolone 1 to 2 mg/kg/day) and promptly arrange cardiology consultation with diagnostic workup. If clinically confirmed, permanently discontinue Opdualag for Grade 2-4 myocarditis.
Myocarditis occurred in 1.7% (6/355) of patients receiving Opdualag, including Grade 3 (0.6%), and Grade 2 (1.1%) adverse reactions. Myocarditis led to permanent discontinuation of Opdualag in 1.7% of patients.
Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
The following clinically significant IMARs occurred at an incidence of <1% (unless otherwise noted) in patients who received Opdualag or were reported with the use of other PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies. Severe or fatal cases have been reported for some of these adverse reactions: Cardiac/Vascular: pericarditis, vasculitis; Nervous System: meningitis, encephalitis, myelitis and demyelination, myasthenic syndrome/myasthenia gravis (including exacerbation), Guillain-Barré syndrome, nerve paresis, autoimmune neuropathy; Ocular: uveitis, iritis, and other ocular inflammatory toxicities can occur. Some cases can be associated with retinal detachment. Various grades of visual impairment, including blindness, can occur. If uveitis occurs in combination with other IMARs, consider a Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada–like syndrome, as this may require treatment with systemic steroids to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss; Gastrointestinal: pancreatitis including increases in serum amylase and lipase levels, gastritis, duodenitis; Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue: myositis/polymyositis, rhabdomyolysis (and associated sequelae including renal failure), arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica; Endocrine: hypoparathyroidism; Other (Hematologic/Immune): hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (Kikuchi lymphadenitis), sarcoidosis, immune thrombocytopenic purpura, solid organ transplant rejection.
Opdualag can cause severe infusion-related reactions. Discontinue Opdualag in patients with severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions. Interrupt or slow the rate of infusion in patients with mild to moderate infusion-related reactions. In patients who received Opdualag as a 60-minute intravenous infusion, infusion-related reactions occurred in 7% (23/355) of patients.
Complications of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT)
Fatal and other serious complications can occur in patients who receive allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) before or after being treated with a PD-1/PD-L1 receptor blocking antibody. Transplant-related complications include hyperacute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, hepatic veno-occlusive disease after reduced intensity conditioning, and steroid-requiring febrile syndrome (without an identified infectious cause). These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between PD-1/PD-L1 blockade and allogeneic HSCT.
Follow patients closely for evidence of transplant-related complications and intervene promptly. Consider the benefit versus risks of treatment with a PD-1/PD-L1 receptor blocking antibody prior to or after an allogeneic HSCT.
Based on its mechanism of action and data from animal studies, Opdualag can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with Opdualag for at least 5 months after the last dose of Opdualag.
There are no data on the presence of Opdualag in human milk, the effects on the breastfed child, or the effect on milk production. Because nivolumab and relatlimab may be excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in a breastfed child, advise patients not to breastfeed during treatment with Opdualag and for at least 5 months after the last dose.
Serious Adverse Reactions
In Relativity-047, fatal adverse reaction occurred in 3 (0.8%) patients who were treated with Opdualag; these included hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, acute edema of the lung, and pneumonitis. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 36% of patients treated with Opdualag. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in ≥1% of patients treated with Opdualag were adrenal insufficiency (1.4%), anemia (1.4%), colitis (1.4%), pneumonia (1.4%), acute myocardial infarction (1.1%), back pain (1.1%), diarrhea (1.1%), myocarditis (1.1%), and pneumonitis (1.1%).
Common Adverse Reactions and Laboratory Abnormalities
The most common adverse reactions reported in ≥20% of the patients treated with Opdualag were musculoskeletal pain (45%), fatigue (39%), rash (28%), pruritus (25%), and diarrhea (24%).
The most common laboratory abnormalities that occurred in ≥20% of patients treated with Opdualag were decreased hemoglobin (37%), decreased lymphocytes (32%), increased AST (30%), increased ALT (26%), and decreased sodium (24%).
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In 2011, through a collaboration agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Bristol Myers Squibb expanded its territorial rights to develop and commercialize Opdivo globally, except in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, where Ono had retained all rights to the compound at the time. On July 23, 2014, Ono and Bristol Myers Squibb further expanded the companies’ strategic collaboration agreement to jointly develop and commercialize multiple immunotherapies – as single agents and combination regimens – for patients with cancer in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
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- Opdualag Prescribing Information. Opdualag U.S. Product Information. Last updated: March 2022. Princeton, NJ: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
- Tawbi HA, Schadendorf D, Lipson EJ, et al. Relatlimab and nivolumab versus nivolumab in untreated advanced melanoma. N Engl J Med. 2022;386:24-34.
- Hodi FS, Chiarion-Sileni V, Gonzalez R, et al. Nivolumab plus ipilimumab or nivolumab alone versus ipilimumab alone in advanced melanoma (CheckMate 067): 4-year outcomes of a multicentre, randomized, phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2018;19(11): 1480-1492.
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Real-Time Oncology Review Pilot Program.
- What Is Melanoma Skin Cancer? American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma-skin-cancer/about/what-is-melanoma.html. Published August 14, 2019. Accessed March 1, 2022.
- SEER. Cancer Stat Facts: Melanoma of the Skin. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html. Accessed March 1, 2022.
Source: Bristol Myers Squibb
Posted: March 2022