A recent article from FierceBiotech announced that the Anti-PD-1 cancer drug nivolumab, a fully human antibody, received regulatory approval in Japan. This class of inhibitors, along with PD-L1 inhibitors are among the most exciting new drugs in oncology.
Ono Pharmaceutical, which picked up the Japanese rights to the drug in a collaboration deal withMedarex back in 2005, says regulators in the Asian country approved nivolumab for sale as a treatment for unresectable melanoma.
This is good news for many cancer patients, especially those with melanoma, as the research into the role of PD-1 and PD-L1 holds promise for future precision medicine treatments.
The goal of PD-1 inhibitors is to prevent a cell-to-cell interaction where programmed death ligand (PDL-1) activates PD-1 receptors, which prevents T-cell elimination of cancer cells, essentially hiding them from the immune system.
Although this is not a proven therapy for GIST, at this year’s ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) meeting, a poster presented by the researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering showed that “GIST tumor specimens had close to 30% expression of PD-L1.”
Our science team is closely watching for phase 1 trials that target PD-1 and/or PD-L1 as well as other immunotherapies that might admit a GIST patient. However, given the attention these therapies have received, competition for slots in these trials is expected.
For the full article about Nivolumab, click here.