2 The technology

Description of the technology

Nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb) is a human monoclonal antibody that blocks an immune checkpoint protein receptor called programmed cell death protein 1 (PD‑1) to promote anti-tumour response.

Marketing authorisation

Nivolumab has a marketing authorisation in the UK for 'the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma after autologous stem cell transplant and treatment with brentuximab vedotin'.

Adverse reactions

The most common adverse reactions with nivolumab in clinical trials were diarrhoea, nausea, fatigue, pyrexia, rash (occurring in at least 10% of people). For full details of adverse reactions and contraindications, see the summary of product characteristics.

Recommended dose and schedule

3 mg/kg given intravenously every 2 weeks.


The list price is £439 per 40-mg vial or £1,097 per 100-mg vial (excluding VAT; British national formulary June 2017).

The company has a commercial arrangement. This makes nivolumab available to the NHS with a discount. The size of the discount is commercial in confidence. It is the company's responsibility to let relevant NHS organisations know details of the discount.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)