- Opdivo (nivolumab), an anti-PD-1 (programmed death-1) monoclonal antibody, was approved in Japan for treatment of unresectable melanoma in adults.
- This is the first PD-1 inhibitor ever approved. It is considered a form of immunotherapy.
- Until Opdivo is listened on Japan’s national health insurance price list, Ono will provide Opdivo free of charge.
Ono is the first company to receive an approval for its anti-PD-1 therapy (Opdivo is an IV infusion drug), but there are other companies aggressively ushering anti-PD-1 candidates through the pipeline. In a market that is estimated to be worth up to $35 billion per year, Merck, Roche, AstraZeneca and BMS are all contenders.