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On Target is a recurring feature from STAT that dives deep into the most promising drug targets in oncology. 

Oncologists may soon have a new immuno-oncology target in their arsenal. Experts expect the Food and Drug Administration to soon approve relatlimab, a Bristol Myers Squibb drug that binds to a cancer target called LAG-3, making it the first new immune checkpoint target in nearly a decade.


Immune checkpoint inhibitors work by blocking critical cellular safety systems that keep our immune cells in “check.” By turning off these checkpoints, immune cells are free to unleash their destructive power — and hopefully, crush cancer in the body. Over the last 10 years, scientists have made wildly successful compounds that targeted the checkpoints PD-1 and CTLA-4, spawning the drugs Keytruda, Opdivo, and Yervoy.

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