Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Taris Biomedical have inked a deal to combine Taris’ investigational GemRIS drug-releasing tech with the pharma company’s PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, Opdivo, in a Phase Ib muscle invasive bladder cancer trial.
As part of the collaboration, Bristol-Myers has also made an equity investment in Lexington, Mass.-based Taris.
Taris’ GemRIS system is designed to release drugs continuously in the bladder over the course of several weeks, even months. The device is deployed and retrieved using minimally-invasive procedures that can be done in-office.
“This is the first study evaluating the potential benefits of combining TAR-200 with a systemically administered immune checkpoint inhibitor,” Taris’ president & CEO Purnanand Sarma said in prepared remarks. “MIBC is a potentially lethal disease with high unmet clinical need. We are excited to partner with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a world-leader in oncology, to advance approaches that may provide meaningful benefit to patients.”
“We continue to explore multiple approaches to treating cancer as part of our broad research program focused on delivering the next wave of oncology therapies,” Dr. Fouad Namouni, head of development for Bristol-Myers’ oncology business, added. “Partnering with Taris will allow us to advance our scientific understanding of combining Opdivo with continuous local chemotherapy as we seek to improve outcomes for patients with this aggressive form of bladder cancer.”