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- Cameron, F., Whiteside, G. & Perry, C. Drugs (2011) 71: 1093. doi:10.2165/11594010-000000000-00000
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Ipilimumab (Yervoy®) is an anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen (CTLA)-4 monoclonal antibody that has been approved in the US for the first- or second-line treatment of patients with malignant melanoma. In the EU, it is awaiting approval as second-line therapy for melanoma. Ipilimumab blocks the effects of the negative T-cell regulator CTLA-4, which may in turn augment T-cell responses to tumour cells. Preclinical studies have indicated that antibody blocking of CTLA-4 can lead to potent immune responses. Ipilimumab is also in development as first- and second-line therapy for prostate cancer where it has progressed to phase III clinical trials worldwide, and it is in phase II development for non-small cell lung cancer. Ipilimumab was originated by the University of California, Berkeley, in the US and subsequently licensed to Medarex, which was later acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb. This article summarizes the milestones in the development of intravenous ipilimumab leading to this first approval.