Seattle Genetics has partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to study the combination of Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) with Opdivo in a Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of advanced classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL).

Adcetris is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) directed to classical HL’s defining marker known as CD30, while BMS’ Opdivo is an antibody that blocks programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1).

The randomised, open-label, global Phase III trial will evaluate the combination therapy in patients whose disease is relapsed / refractory or ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT).

Seattle Genetics chief medical officer and research and development executive vice-president Jonathan Drachman said: “Adcetris was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 as the first new therapeutic option for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma in more than 30 years.

“Adcetris has now become the standard of care for relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma, with more than 20,000 patients treated.

“Adcetris has now become the standard of care for relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma, with more than 20,000 patients treated.”

“We are evaluating Adcetris in novel combinations in order to identify optimal treatment regimens for patients with CD30-expressing lymphomas.”

The trial is expected to be initiated in the coming months and will compare the combination of Adcetris and Opdivo with Adcetris alone.

BMS oncology development head Fouad Namouni said: “Our collaboration with Seattle Genetics combines our experience and understanding of Hodgkin lymphoma and a shared goal of providing patients with additional treatment options.”

The combination therapy is being further assessed in several Phase I/II trials to treat patients with various lymphomas such as CD30-expressing relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and B-cell malignancies such as mediastinal gray zone lymphoma.

An ongoing trial is also evaluating the combination in children, adolescents and young adults with relapsed / refractory classical HL and in older subjects with HL.