AbbVie Announces U.S. FDA Approval of IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) Plus Obinutuzumab (GAZYVA®) - First Chemotherapy-Free, Anti-CD20 Combination Regimen Approved for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (CLL/SLL) in Previously Untreated Patients
NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Jan. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) in combination with obinutuzumab (GAZYVA®) for adult patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). The latest FDA approval expands the use of IMBRUVICA, which can already be administered as a single agent or in combination with bendamustine and rituximab (BR) for adult CLL/SLL patients.1 IMBRUVICA is a once-daily, first-in-class Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor that is administered orally, and is jointly developed and commercialized by Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company, and Janssen Biotech, Inc.
"This latest IMBRUVICA FDA approval gives the healthcare community the first chemotherapy-free, anti-CD20 combination to treat CLL and SLL patients who have not yet started therapy. Also, and importantly, this new treatment combination helps reduce the need for chemotherapy," said Carol Moreno, M.D., Ph.D., Consultant Hematologist, Hospital de la Santa Creu Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, and lead investigator of the iLLUMINATE study.
The FDA approval is based on results from the Phase 3 iLLUMINATE (PCYC-1130) study, which showed the combination of IMBRUVICA plus obinutuzumab significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) compared to chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab in previously untreated CLL/SLL patients who were 65 years or older, or less than 65 years old with coexisting conditions. Patients treated in the IMBRUVICA arm experienced a 77 percent reduction in risk of progression or death compared to the chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab arm (hazard ratio [HR] 0.23; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.15-0.37; P<0.0001). The chemotherapy-free, anti-CD20 combination regimen also showed an 85 percent reduction in risk of progression or death compared to chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab (HR 0.15; 95% CI: 0.09-0.27) when evaluating PFS in patients with high-risk disease (17p deletion/TP53 mutation, 11q deletion, or unmutated IGHV). The data were recently presented in an oral session at the 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and simultaneously published in The Lancet Oncology.
"We are living in a time of significant advances in cancer treatment, particularly in blood cancers, and this latest IMBRUVICA FDA approval is an example. I am proud that we can now give physicians and patients a new option to treat CLL and SLL without the need for chemotherapy," said Danelle James, M.D., M.A.S., Head of Clinical Science, Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company.
The FDA also updated the IMBRUVICA label to include additional long-term efficacy follow-up supporting its use as a single agent in CLL/SLL from the Phase 3 RESONATETM (PCYC-1112) and RESONATETM-2 (PCYC-1115, PCYC-1116) international studies.
Warnings and Precautions include: hemorrhage, infections, cytopenias, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, second primary malignancies, tumor lysis syndrome, and embryo-fetal toxicity. The most common adverse reactions (occurring in 20% or more of patients) of all grades in patients treated with IMBRUVICA plus obinutuzumab in the iLLUMINATE study were neutropenia (48%), thrombocytopenia (36%), rash (36%), diarrhea (34%), musculoskeletal pain (33%), bruising (32%), cough (27%), infusion related reaction (25%), hemorrhage (25%), and arthralgia (22%).
The recommended dose of IMBRUVICA for CLL/SLL is 420 mg orally once daily until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity as a single agent or in combination with obinutuzumab, or BR. When administering IMBRUVICA in combination with rituximab or obinutuzumab, consider administering IMBRUVICA prior to rituximab or obinutuzumab when given on the same day.
About Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is one of the two most common forms of leukemia in adults and is a type of cancer that can develop from cells in the bone marrow that later mature into certain white blood cells (called lymphocytes).2 While these cancer cells start in the bone marrow, they then later spread into the blood. The prevalence of CLL is approximately 115,000 patients in the U.S. with approximately 20,000 newly diagnosed patients every year.3,4 Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) is a slow-growing lymphoma biologically similar to CLL in which too many immature white blood cells cause lymph nodes to become larger than normal.5 Both CLL and SLL are predominately diseases of the elderly, with a median age of diagnosis ranging from 65-70 years.6
IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) is a first-in-class, oral, once-daily therapy that mainly works by inhibiting a protein called Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK). BTK is a key signaling molecule in the B-cell receptor signaling complex that plays an important role in the survival and spread of malignant B cells.7 IMBRUVICA blocks signals that tell malignant B cells to multiply and spread uncontrollably.
IMBRUVICA is FDA-approved in six distinct diseases: chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM), along with previously-treated mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), previously-treated marginal zone lymphoma (MZL), and previously-treated chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD).1
IMBRUVICA was first approved for adult patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy in November 2013.
Soon after, IMBRUVICA was initially approved in adult CLL patients who have received at least one prior therapy in February 2014. By July 2014, the therapy received approval for adult CLL patients with 17p deletion, and by March 2016, the therapy was approved as a frontline CLL treatment.
IMBRUVICA was approved for adult patients with WM in January 2015.
In May 2016, IMBRUVICA was approved in combination with bendamustine and rituximab (BR) for adult patients with CLL/SLL.
In January 2017, IMBRUVICA was approved for adult patients with MZL who require systemic therapy and have received at least one prior anti-CD20-based therapy.
In August 2017, IMBRUVICA was approved for adult patients with cGVHD who failed to respond to one or more lines of systemic therapy.
In August 2018, IMBRUVICA plus rituximab was approved for adult patients with WM.
In January 2019, IMBRUVICA plus obinutuzumab was approved for previously untreated adult patients with CLL/SLL.
Accelerated approval was granted for the MCL and MZL indications based on overall response rate. Continued approval for MCL and MZL may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.
IMBRUVICA has been granted four Breakthrough Therapy Designations from the U.S. FDA. This designation is intended to expedite the development and review of a potential new drug for serious or life-threatening diseases.8 IMBRUVICA was one of the first medicines to receive FDA approval via the new Breakthrough Therapy Designation pathway.
IMBRUVICA is being studied alone and in combination with other treatments in several blood and solid tumor cancers and other serious illnesses. IMBRUVICA has a robust clinical oncology development program, with more than 130 ongoing clinical trials. There are approximately 30 ongoing company-sponsored trials, 14 of which are in Phase 3, and more than 100 investigator-sponsored trials and external collaborations that are active around the world. To date, more than 135,000 patients around the world have been treated with IMBRUVICA in clinical practice and clinical trials.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Hemorrhage: Fatal bleeding events have occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA®. Grade 3 or higher bleeding events (intracranial hemorrhage [including subdural hematoma], gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, and post procedural hemorrhage) have occurred in 3% of patients, with fatalities occurring in 0.3% of 1,124 patients exposed to IMBRUVICA® in clinical trials. Bleeding events of any grade, including bruising and petechiae, occurred in 44% of patients treated with IMBRUVICA®.
The mechanism for the bleeding events is not well understood.
IMBRUVICA® may increase the risk of hemorrhage in patients receiving antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapies and patients should be monitored for signs of bleeding.
Consider the benefit-risk of withholding IMBRUVICA® for at least 3 to 7 days pre- and post-surgery depending upon the type of surgery and the risk of bleeding.
Infections: Fatal and non-fatal infections (including bacterial, viral, or fungal) have occurred with IMBRUVICA® therapy. Grade 3 or greater infections occurred in 24% of 1,124 patients exposed to IMBRUVICA® in clinical trials. Cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) have occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA®. Consider prophylaxis according to standard of care in patients who are at increased risk for opportunistic infections.
Monitor and evaluate patients for fever and infections and treat appropriately.
Cytopenias: Treatment-emergent Grade 3 or 4 cytopenias including neutropenia (23%), thrombocytopenia (8%), and anemia (3%) based on laboratory measurements occurred in patients with B‑cell malignancies treated with single agent IMBRUVICA®.
Monitor complete blood counts monthly.
Cardiac Arrhythmias: Fatal and serious cardiac arrhythmias have occurred with IMBRUVICA® therapy. Grade 3 or greater ventricular tachyarrhythmias occurred in 0.2% of patients, and Grade 3 or greater atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter occurred in 4% of 1,124 patients exposed to IMBRUVICA® in clinical trials. These events have occurred particularly in patients with cardiac risk factors, hypertension, acute infections, and a previous history of cardiac arrhythmias.
Periodically monitor patients clinically for cardiac arrhythmias. Obtain an ECG for patients who develop arrhythmic symptoms (e.g., palpitations, lightheadedness, syncope, chest pain) or new onset dyspnea. Manage cardiac arrhythmias appropriately, and if it persists, consider the risks and benefits of IMBRUVICA® treatment and follow dose modification guidelines.
Hypertension: Hypertension of any grade occurred in 12% of 1,124 patients treated with IMBRUVICA® in clinical trials. Grade 3 or greater hypertension occurred in 5% of patients with a median time to onset of 5.9 months (range, 0.03 to 24 months).
Monitor blood pressure in patients treated with IMBRUVICA® and initiate or adjust anti-hypertensive medication throughout treatment with IMBRUVICA® as appropriate.
Second Primary Malignancies: Other malignancies (10%) including non-skin carcinomas (4%) have occurred in 1,124 patients treated with IMBRUVICA® in clinical trials. The most frequent second primary malignancy was non-melanoma skin cancer (6%).
Tumor Lysis Syndrome: Tumor lysis syndrome has been infrequently reported with IMBRUVICA® therapy. Assess the baseline risk (e.g., high tumor burden) and take appropriate precautions.
Monitor patients closely and treat as appropriate.
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on findings in animals, IMBRUVICA® can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise women to avoid becoming pregnant while taking IMBRUVICA® and for 1 month after cessation of therapy. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus. Advise men to avoid fathering a child during the same time period.
B-cell malignancies: The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients with B-cell malignancies (MCL, CLL/SLL, WM and MZL) were thrombocytopenia (58%)*, diarrhea (41%), anemia (38%)*, neutropenia (35%)*, musculoskeletal pain (32%), rash (32%), bruising (31%), nausea (26%), fatigue (26%), hemorrhage (24%), and pyrexia (20%).
The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥5%) in patients with B-cell malignancies (MCL, CLL/SLL, WM and MZL) were neutropenia (18%)*, thrombocytopenia (16%)*, and pneumonia (14%).
Approximately 7% (CLL/SLL), 14% (MCL), 14% (WM) and 10% (MZL) of patients had a dose reduction due to adverse reactions. Approximately 4-10% (CLL/SLL), 9% (MCL), and 7% (WM [5%] and MZL [13%]) of patients discontinued due to adverse reactions.
cGVHD: The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients with cGVHD were fatigue (57%), bruising (40%), diarrhea (36%), thrombocytopenia (33%)*, muscle spasms (29%), stomatitis (29%), nausea (26%), hemorrhage (26%), anemia (24%)*, and pneumonia (21%).
The most common Grade 3 or higher adverse reactions (≥5%) reported in patients with cGVHD were pneumonia (14%), fatigue (12%), diarrhea (10%), neutropenia (10%)*, sepsis (10%), hypokalemia (7%), headache (5%), musculoskeletal pain (5%), and pyrexia (5%).
Twenty-four percent of patients receiving IMBRUVICA® in the cGVHD trial discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions. Adverse reactions leading to dose reduction occurred in 26% of patients.
*Treatment-emergent decreases (all grades) were based on laboratory measurements.
CYP3A Inhibitors: Modify IMBRUVICA® dose as described in USPI sections 2.4 and 7.1.
CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration with strong CYP3A inducers.
Hepatic Impairment (based on Child-Pugh criteria): Avoid use of IMBRUVICA® in patients with severe baseline hepatic impairment. In patients with mild or moderate impairment, reduce IMBRUVICA® dose.
Please click here for full Prescribing Information.
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Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions, among others, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges to intellectual property, competition from other products, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry. Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," in AbbVie's 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AbbVie undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.
IMBRUVICA is a registered trademark of Pharmacyclics LLC.
1 IMBRUVICA U.S. Prescribing Information, January 2019
2 American Society of Hematology. Leukemia. http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Cancers/Leukemia.aspx Accessed January 2019.
3 IMS Database [Data on File].
4 National Cancer Institute. Cancer Stat Facts: Leukemia - Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/clyl.html. Accessed January 2019.
5 Leukaemia Foundation. Small lymphocytic lymphoma. https://www.leukaemia.org.au/disease-information/lymphomas/non-hodgkin-lymphoma/other-non-hodgkin-lymphomas/small-lymphocytic-lymphoma/. Accessed January 2019.
6 Shanafelt, et al. Age at Diagnosis and the Utility of Prognostic Testing in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). Cancer. 2010; 116(20): 4777–4787.
7 Genetics Home Reference. Isolated growth hormone deficiency. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/isolated-growth-hormone-deficiency. Accessed January 2019.
8 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Fact Sheet: Breakthrough Therapies. https://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/LawsEnforcedbyFDA/SignificantAmendmentstotheFDCAct/FDASIA/ucm329491.htm. Accessed January 2019.