Opdivo® in Combination with CABOMETYX® Demonstrates Long-Term Survival Benefits After Four Years of Follow-Up in the CheckMate -9ER Trial in First-Line Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) and Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) today announced four-year follow-up results from the CheckMate -9ER trial evaluating Opdivo® (nivolumab) in combination with CABOMETYX® (cabozantinib) vs. sunitinib in patients with previously untreated advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Results continued to show superior progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rates (ORR) in patients treated with Opdivoplus CABOMETYXover sunitinib, regardless of risk classification based on International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) scores. Superior overall survival (OS) was also observed in patients treated with the combination. These updated results, including data showing health-related quality-of-life benefits with Opdivo in combination with CABOMETYX vs. sunitinib, will be featured in an oral presentation (Abstract #362) at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2024 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium from January 25-27, 2024.

“Renal cell carcinoma can be very challenging to treat and patients who are diagnosed with advanced disease or develop metastasis often face poor outcomes,” said Maria Teresa Bourlon, Urologic Oncology Clinic, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico. “These updated results from the CheckMate -9ER trial continue to support the role of nivolumab in combination with cabozantinib as an important first-line treatment option for this devastating disease, demonstrating durable efficacy across its multiple study endpoints, including a 23% reduction in the risk of death.”

At a median follow-up of 55.6 months (48.1 months minimum), all patients randomized to the Opdivo plus CABOMETYX treatment arm (n=323) continued to experience benefits over those who received sunitinib (n=328) across efficacy endpoints:

  • PFS (primary endpoint): PFS continued to favor Opdivo plus CABOMETYX, with median PFS nearly doubled with the combination regimen at 16.4 months vs. 8.4 months with sunitinib (Hazard Ratio [HR] 0.58; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.49 to 0.70).
  • OS (secondary endpoint): Treatment with Opdivo in combination with CABOMETYX elicited durable survival benefit over sunitinib, with a median OS of 46.5 months compared to 36.0 months with sunitinib (HR 0.77; 95% CI: 0.63 to 0.95).
  • ORR (secondary endpoint): The combination regimen showed durable response improvements, doubling the ORR compared to sunitinib (55.7% vs. 27.7%, respectively).
  • Complete response (CR): Patients who received Opdivo plus CABOMETYX continued to show CR benefit, with triple the number of patients achieving CR vs. sunitinib (13.6% vs. 4.6%).
  • Duration of response (DOR): Opdivo plus CABOMETYX was associated with a longer median DOR of 22.0 months vs. 15.2 months in the sunitinib group.
  • Safety: No new safety concerns were identified in this follow-up analysis. Among all treated patients, any-grade treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) occurred in 97.5% in the Opdivo plus CABOMETYX group compared to 93.1% in the sunitinib group. Grade ≥3 TRAEs occurred in 67.5% of Opdivo plus CABOMETYX-treated patients vs. 55.3% in sunitinib-treated patients.

Additionally, in exploratory analyses, durable and clinically meaningful benefits were observed in patient subgroups across risk groups, including within the favorable-risk and intermediate- and poor-risk groups:

  • OS: Among patients with intermediate-/poor-risk, median OS was 43.9 months for those treated with Opdivo plus CABOMETYX vs. 29.3 months with sunitinib (HR 0.73; 95% CI: 0.58 to 0.91). In patients with favorable risk, median OS was similar across treatment arms at 52.9 months with the combination regimen and 58.9 months with sunitinib (HR 1.10; 95% CI: 0.69 to 1.75).
  • PFS: PFS was improved with the combination regimen in patients with intermediate-/poor-risk with a median PFS of 15.4 months compared to 7.1 months with sunitinib (HR 0.56; 95% CI: 0.45 to 0.68), as well as in those with favorable risk at 21.4 months vs. 12.8 months (HR 0.69; 95% CI: 0.48 to 1.00).
  • ORR: In patients with intermediate-/ poor-risk, ORR was more than doubled at 52.6% with Opdivo and CABOMETYX vs. 23.0% with sunitinib. In those with favorable risk, ORR was 66.2% vs. 44.4%, respectively.
  • CR: Among those with intermediate-/poor-risk profiles, the number of patients who achieved CR more than tripled (12.9% vs. 3.5%) with the combination regimen compared to sunitinib. In those with favorable risk profiles, the number of patients who achieved CR was doubled (16.2% vs. 8.3%) with the combination regimen.
  • DOR: Median DOR was also improved with Opdivo and CABOMETYX across both groups. Among the intermediate- and poor-risk group, those treated with the combination regimen had a median DOR of 23.1 months vs. 13.8 months with sunitinib. Among the favorable risk group, median DOR was 18.7 months vs. 17.8 months, respectively.

“There has been an ongoing need for therapeutic options that can provide patients with previously untreated advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma with the potential for disease control and extended survival. By combining the power of these two unique modalities, we established a new standard of care with Opdivo and CABOMETYX, building on our commitment to improving outcomes for patients with advanced cancers, including but not limited to genitourinary cancers,” said Dana Walker, M.D., M.S.C.E., vice president, global program lead, gastrointestinal and genitourinary cancers, Bristol Myers Squibb. “Now, after more than four years of follow up, the data continue to underscore the value of Opdivo-based combinations in the GU cancer treatment paradigm with the potential to help patients diagnosed with advanced RCC live longer, regardless of risk classification.”

“These results from CheckMate -9ER provide hope that patients with previously untreated advanced kidney cancer may experience a long-term survival benefit. We are pleased to see that the combination of CABOMETYX and Opdivo continues to demonstrate durable and clinically meaningful efficacy after four years of follow-up in this patient population across risk groups, reinforcing the value of this regimen as a standard of care in this setting,” said Amy Peterson, M.D., executive vice president, product development & medical affairs, and chief medical officer, Exelixis. “It is also encouraging that CABOMETYX in combination with Opdivo demonstrated superior PFS and OS benefits in patients who had disease burdens in often challenging-to-treat areas, including bone, liver and lung metastases. The totality of these encouraging findings, achieved in partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb, underscore our commitment to collaborating with the scientific community to advance treatment regimens for patients with advanced cancers.”

Bristol Myers Squibb and Exelixis thank the patients and investigators involved in the CheckMate -9ER clinical trial.

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