research & development

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Calithera Biosciences Expand Collaboration

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Calithera Biosciences, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel small molecule drugs directed against tumor metabolism and tumor immunology targets for the treatment of cancer, today announced the companies have expanded their existing collaboration to evaluate Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo in combination with Calithera’s CB-839 in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and melanoma. CB-839 is an investigational orally administered glutaminase inhibitor currently in Phase 1/2 clinical studies.

Preclinical data suggest that CB-839, which is designed to target a pathway to starve tumor cells of the key nutrient glutamine, may enhance the effects of checkpoint inhibitors and may also reverse tumor resistance to checkpoint inhibitors by altering the immune-suppressive microenvironment and promoting an anti-tumor immune response. Opdivo is designed to overcome immune suppression. The companies will evaluate the potential clinical value of combining these two agents to treat NSCLC and melanoma.

“We are pleased to expand our collaboration with Calithera into NSCLC and melanoma, building upon our existing clinical study evaluating Opdivo and CB-839 in clear cell renal cell carcinoma,” said Fouad Namouni, M.D., senior vice president, Head of Oncology Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“The expansion of this clinical collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb into NSCLC and melanoma is an important addition to our immunotherapy clinical strategy for CB-839,” said Susan Molineaux, CEO of Calithera Biosciences. “This represents one of several strategies to develop CB-839, a glutaminase inhibitor, in combination with approved therapies with the hope of improving the treatment of patients with solid tumors.”

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