Bristol-Myers Squibb and Janssen Biotech are collaborating to test whether combining nivolumab and daratumumab will have synergistic clinical effects, according to a press release.1

A phase 1 study ( Identifier: NCT01592370) of nivolumab in multiple myeloma will now include daratumumab in 1 of its study arms; more studies of the combination—in particular for solid tumors such as non-small cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, head and neck cancer, and pancreatic cancer—will commence in 2017.

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Nivolumab is a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor with several indications, including metastatic melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. Daratumumab is a CD38-directed cytolytic antibody that is “believed to induce tumor cell death through multiple immune-mediated mechanisms of action and also demonstrates immunomodulatory activities by targeting immuno-suppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment.” It is indicated for some previously-treated patients with multiple myeloma.

The combination may be effective for a variety of cancers, though it is not specified how the drugs will work synergistically.


  1. Bristol-Myers Squibb announces immunotherapy clinical collaboration with Janssen to evaluate Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with Darzalex (daratumumab). Bristol-Myers Squibb website. Published January 5, 2017. Accessed January 10, 2017.