By Colin Kellaher

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday said it approved expanded use of Bristol Myers Squibb Co.'s blockbuster cancer drug Opdivo for the first-line treatment of gastric cancer.

The agency said the approval covers Opdivo in combination with certain types of chemotherapy for the initial treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction cancer and esophageal adenocarcinoma, making Opdivo the first FDA-approved immunotherapy for the first-line treatment of gastric cancer.

The FDA said Opdivo is the first treatment in more than a decade to show a survival benefit for patients with advanced or metastatic gastric cancer who are being treated for the first time, adding that there are roughly 28,000 new diagnoses of gastric cancer a year in the U.S.

Opdivo, which harnesses the body's own immune system to fight cancer, is currently approved in more than 65 countries across multiple cancers.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 16, 2021 13:29 ET (17:29 GMT)

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