Relatlimab in combination or as a fixed dose with nivolumab, is in clinical development for patients with malignant (advanced or metastatic) melanoma that has previously been treated with immunotherapy (second line). Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive and life-threatening form of skin cancer. General symptoms of advanced melanoma may include weight loss, loss of appetite and fatigue. Factors associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma include a fair complexion, exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet (UV) energy, and a history of sunburn or moles.
Relatlimab binds to and inhibits a protein called LAG-3 which is present on immune cells (T-cells) while nivolumab works by blocking a different protein called PD-1 also present on the surface of T-cells. Simultaneous blockade of LAG-3 and PD-1 may synergistically restore T-cell activation and enhance antitumour immunity. The addition of relatlimab to nivolumab has demonstrated encouraging results in early clinical trials and has a safety profile similar to nivolumab when administered alone. Relatlimab in combination with nivolumab may offer an effective treatment option for patients with malignant melanoma that has spread and cannot be removed by surgery and have previously been treated with immunotherapy.