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Multiple myeloma treatment from BMS and AbbVie scores EU approval

Published on 12/05/16 at 08:59am

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) and AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) have announced that the European Commission has approved Empliciti (elotuzumab) for the treatment of multiple myeloma as a combination therapy with Revlimid (lealidomide) and dexamethasone.

In late stage trials, patients treated with Emplicity in combination with the other drugs achieved a greater rate of progression-free survival than with the other drugs, alone. 646 patients were enrolled in the study, who had already received one to three prior therapies. Overall, it was observed that the addition of Empliciti to treatment resulted in a 32% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death compared to Revlimid and dezamethasone, alone.

Similar to the way that Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Yervoy (ipilimumab) operates, Empliciti acts on crucial receptors that influence cancer by either blocking those that suppress immune responses or activating those that amplify immune responses.

Emmanuel Blin, senior VP at BMS, says: “With the approval of Empliciti in the EU, we are proud to extend our immune-oncology science to multiple myeloma patients in Europe who have received at least one prior therapy.”

Sarper Diler, president of Myeloma Patients Europe, comments: “Today’s decision of the European Commission is excellent news for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients. Multiple myeloma has had a difficult-to-treat history, and at Myeloma Patients Europe, we are committed to ensuring these patients living in any European country are able to access new, innovative medicines, like Empliciti.”

The FDA approved Empliciti in this indication in November.

Sean Murray

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