The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has recommended approval of nivolumab at a flat dosing schedule of either 240 mg over 30 minutes every 2 weeks, or 480 mg infused over 60 minutes every 4 weeks, for the adjuvant treatment of patients with melanoma who have involvement of lymph nodes or metastatic disease who have undergone complete resection.
Ralu Vlad, PharmD
The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended approval of nivolumab (Opdivo) at a flat dosing schedule of either 240 mg over 30 minutes every 2 weeks, or 480 mg infused over 60 minutes every 4 weeks, for the adjuvant treatment of patients with melanoma who have involvement of lymph nodes or metastatic disease who have undergone complete resection.1
"This positive CHMP opinion for Opdivo 2- and 4-week dosing reinforces our commitment to offering flexible dosing options for patients, caregivers and healthcare providers," Ralu Vlad, PharmD, development team lead, product design and delivery, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the developer of the PD-1 inhibitor, stated in a press release. "We look forward to the European Commission's decision and potentially bringing this new Opdivo dosing regimen to patients as quickly as possible."
The European Commission approved nivolumab as an adjuvant treatment in July 2018 for adult patients with completely resected melanoma with lymph node involvement or metastatic disease, regardless of BRAF mutation status.
The approval was based on data from the phase III CheckMate-238 trial, in which the recurrence-free survival rate at 18 months with nivolumab was 66.4% (95% CI, 61.8%-70.6%) compared with 52.7% (95% CI, 47.8%-57.4%) for ipilimumab (Yervoy) in patients with stage IIIB/C or IV melanoma.2 There was a 35% reduction in the risk of recurrence or death with the PD-1 inhibitor versus the CTLA-4 inhibitor (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.53-0.80; P <.0001).
Previously, in April 2018, the European Commission granted an approval to the every-4-week dose of single-agent nivolumab infused over 60 minutes for patients with advanced melanoma and previously treated renal cell carcinoma. At this time, the European Commission also approved the every-2-week 240 mg dosing option that is infused over 30 minutes for all 6 approved monotherapy indications in the European Union.
Research presented at the 2017 AACR Annual Meeting indicated that safety and efficacy would be similar between a nivolumab dosing schedule of 480 mg every 4 weeks compared with 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks.3 Using quantitative clinical pharmacology analyses and safety assessments, the investigators examined the predicted risk/benefit profile of the less frequent 480-mg regimen relative to the 3-mg/kg regimen.
Among the patients with melanoma, NSCLC, or RCC, results showed sa <1% difference in the predicted probability of achieving a response. The predicted 1- and 2-year survival probabilities were also similar among patients with these tumor types receiving either of the 2 doses, with differences ranging between 0% to 4.6% at year 1, and 1.9% to 6.9% at year 2.
The FDA first approved nivolumab as a single agent for advanced melanoma in December 2014, as a treatment for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression following ipilimumab and, if BRAF V600—positive, a BRAF inhibitor.