Bristol-Myers Squibb and Foundation Medicine collaborate to identify predictive biomarkers

March 30, 2017 – NEW YORK. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Foundation Medicine announced a collaboration that leverages Foundation Medicine’s comprehensive genomic profiling and molecular information solutions to identify predictive biomarkers such as Tumor Mutational Burden (TMB) and Microsatellite Instability (MSI) in patients enrolled across clinical trials investigating Bristol-Myers Squibb’s cancer immunotherapies. Biomarkers can be used to characterize a tumor and the tumor microenvironment, which may reveal immune-related mechanisms predictive of how a patient may respond to immunotherapy.

Cancer immunotherapy works by helping the immune system mount an anti-cancer response, a process that depends in part on the recognition of cancer-specific proteins called neoantigens. Higher levels of tumor mutations have been shown to correlate to the number of neoantigens, and therefore may help identify patients more likely to respond to cancer immunotherapies. Foundation Medicine’s approach utilizing its FoundationOne® assay combines comprehensive genomic profiling with its advanced and proprietary algorithms to measure biomarkers, including TMB and MSI, without the need for whole exome sequencing.

“Translational medicine research is critical to further our understanding of cancer biology and to identify which patient populations are most likely to derive benefit from our Immuno-Oncology agents,” said Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of Development, Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We believe this collaboration with Foundation Medicine will help us better understand the relation of genomic approaches to immunotherapy efficacy across a number of different tumor types and immunotherapy agents.”

“Cancer immuno-therapy is evolving rapidly, and biopharmaceutical companies and practicing oncologists alike may benefit from a reliable, validated, comprehensive view of mutational burden and genomic alterations to make the most informed care decisions,” said Melanie Nallicheri, chief business officer and head, Biopharma for Foundation Medicine. “Our collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb highlights the potential value of our molecular information platform to the biopharma industry for its ability to inform, to reduce risk and to accelerate clinical development in this high growth and highly competitive oncology field.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb & Immuno-Oncology: Advancing Oncology Research

At Bristol-Myers Squibb, patients are at the center of everything we do. Our vision for the future of cancer care is focused on researching and developing transformational Immuno-Oncology (I-O) medicines that will raise survival expectations in hard-to-treat cancers and will change the way patients live with cancer.

We are leading the scientific understanding of I-O through our extensive portfolio of investigational and approved agents, including the first combination of two I-O agents in metastatic melanoma, and our differentiated clinical development program, which is studying broad patient populations across more than 35 types of cancers with 13 clinical-stage molecules designed to target different immune system pathways. Our deep expertise and innovative clinical trial designs uniquely position us to advance the science of combinations across multiple tumors and potentially deliver the next wave of I-O combination regimens with a sense of urgency. We also continue to pioneer research that will help facilitate a deeper understanding of the role of immune biomarkers and inform which patients will benefit most from I-O therapies.

We understand making the promise of I-O a reality for the many patients who may benefit from these therapies requires not only innovation on our part but also close collaboration with leading experts in the field. Our partnerships with academia, government, advocacy and biotech companies support our collective goal of providing new treatment options to advance the standards of clinical practice.

Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company