What’s next for relatlimab?

Source: Evaluate Vantage, March 2022

If in relatlimab Bristol Myers Squibb was looking for a less toxic drug than Yervoy to complement Opdivo then the first pillar of this strategy is in place. The Opdivo/relatlimab combo, now trademarked Opdualag, was last week approved for front-line melanoma, with no delay and no nasty label surprises.

Investors will naturally now want to know what Bristol has up its sleeve. An analysis by Evaluate Vantage has pinpointed nine additional studies in over 4,000 patients that should give a clue as to whether relatlimab might augment Opdivo or replace Yervoy in the established drugs’ approved uses, and maybe in new indications, beyond metastatic melanoma.

Of course, publicly Bristol is not about to give up on Yervoy, a drug whose sales rose 20% last year to $2bn despite its association with numerous adverse reactions, many on account of immune system activation.