Phase 3 CheckMate -9ER Trial Evaluating Opdivo® (nivolumab) in Combination with CABOMETYX® (cabozantinib) in Previously Untreated Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma Demonstrates Positive Results

Study met primary endpoint of significantly improving progression-free survival, and secondary endpoints of overall survival and objective response rate vs. sunitinib

Opdivo in combination with CABOMETYX demonstrates clinically meaningful efficacy results across all endpoints and preliminary assessment showing a favorable safety profile

San Francisco, CA ( --  Bristol Myers Squibb and Exelixis, Inc. announced that CheckMate -9ER, a pivotal Phase 3 trial evaluating Opdivo® (nivolumab) in combination with CABOMETYX® (cabozantinib) compared to sunitinib in previously untreated advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), met its primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS) at final analysis, as well as the secondary endpoints of overall survival (OS) at a pre-specified interim analysis, and objective response rate (ORR).

The safety profiles of Opdivo and CABOMETYX observed in the trial reflect the known safety profiles of the immunotherapy and tyrosine kinase inhibitor components in first-line RCC.

“The results from the pivotal CheckMate -9ER trial clearly demonstrate the combination of cabozantinib plus nivolumab provides a clinically meaningful benefit in the key efficacy measures of progression-free survival and overall survival for previously untreated kidney cancer patients,” said Dr. Toni Choueiri, Director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
“Preliminary assessment of the data shows the combination of a 40mg dose of cabozantinib plus nivolumab demonstrated a favorable safety profile. If approved, this combination may become an important new first-line option for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. We look forward to presenting detailed results at an upcoming congress.”

“The positive topline results from the Phase 3 CheckMate -9ER trial evaluating Opdivo in combination with CABOMETYX build on our understanding of Opdivo-based regimens, and we look forward to working with global health authorities to help bring this new combination regimen to previously untreated patients, a population that despite recent advances, remains in need of additional therapeutic options that extend survival,” said Brian Lamon, Ph.D., development lead, genitourinary cancers, Bristol Myers Squibb. “We would like to thank the patients who participated in this trial, as well as the investigators and site personnel for their perseverance during the conduct of this study and in delivering this important result for patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Given the growing body of data showing that CABOMETYX may create a more immune-permissive tumor environment that may enhance response to immune checkpoint inhibitors, we have been eagerly awaiting the results for the combination of cabozantinib and nivolumab in previously untreated renal cell carcinoma,” said Gisela Schwab, M.D., president, product development and medical affairs and chief medical officer, Exelixis. “We’re delighted that the trial met its primary endpoint of progression-free survival as well as the secondary endpoints of overall survival and objective response rate, demonstrating consistent benefit for the combination in previously untreated renal cell carcinoma patients. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb as we work toward regulatory filings in the near future.”

The companies plan to submit detailed results of CheckMate -9ER for presentation at an upcoming medical conference. More information about this trial is available at

About CheckMate -9ER

CheckMate -9ER is an open-label, randomized, multi-national Phase 3 trial evaluating patients with previously untreated advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Patients are randomized 1:1 to Opdivo and CABOMETYX or sunitinib. The primary endpoint is progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints include overall survival (OS) and objective response rate (ORR). The primary efficacy analysis is comparing the doublet combination versus sunitinib in all randomized patients. The trial is sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical Co and co-funded by Exelixis, Ipsen and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co

Source: "Bristol Myers Squibb And Exelixis Announce Positive Topline Results From Pivotal Phase 3 Checkmate -9ER Trial Evaluating Opdivo® (Nivolumab) In Combination With CABOMETYX® (Cabozantinib) In Previously Untreated Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma | Exelixis, Inc.". 2020. Exelixis, Inc.