Bristol-Myers, Roche Partner on Melanoma Cure

FOXBusiness

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Switzerlands Roche are teaming up to develop a treatment for melanoma using a combination of their respective cancer drugs.

In the collaboration agreement, the two will evaluate the utility of Bristol-Myers yervoy in combination with Roches investigational oral drug vemurafenib in treating patients with a certain type of metastatic melanoma.

Continue Reading Below

Metastatic melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, Brian Daniels, senior vice president of development and medical affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in a statement on Thursday.

The companies said the agreement marks an important cross-company collaboration exploring the potential roles of this regimen in the treatment of the cancer.

The pharmaceutical giants will conduct early and mid-stage studies to evaluate to combos safety and efficacy. Depending on the outcome, they may conduct further development of the combined drug.

Yervoy won U.S. approval in March as a treatment for patients with inoperable or metastatic melanoma. Roche, meanwhile, recently submitted its U.S. and European application seeking approval for vemurafenib.

Vemurafenib is designed to selectively target and inhibit a mutated form of the BRAF protein found in about half of all cases of melanoma.