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Bayer and Orion Expand Development Program for NUBEQA® (darolutamide) in Prostate Cancer

  • Phase III study ARANOTE to be initiated in metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) assessing the androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) in combination with standard androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)
  • Start of patient enrollment expected by the end of Q1 2021
  • Study adds to the robust development program for NUBEQA, exploring an opportunity to help even more patients with prostate cancer

WHIPPANY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bayer and Orion Corporation are expanding the global clinical development program for the oral androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) NUBEQA® (darolutamide) in prostate cancer. A new Phase III study ARANOTE will investigate NUBEQA in addition to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) versus placebo plus ADT in men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). The study builds on the robust development program comprising multiple studies, including the Phase III study ARASENS, which investigates NUBEQA combined with ADT and docetaxel compared to docetaxel and ADT alone in men with mHSPC.

“NUBEQA has already shown in men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) that it extends metastasis-free and overall survival,” said Scott Z. Fields, M.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology Development at Bayer's Pharmaceutical Division. “Given the encouraging results that we have seen with NUBEQA so far, it is important that we also evaluate the potential of NUBEQA in other stages of prostate cancer that may offer men with mHSPC a new treatment option.”

In 2019, NUBEQA was approved in the U.S. for the treatment of patients with nmCRPC. The ARAMIS study demonstrated proven efficacy and tolerability, including significant improvement in metastasis-free survival (MFS). NUBEQA plus ADT showed the same low rate of permanent discontinuation due to adverse reactions compared to ADT alone (9% versus 9%). The most frequent adverse reactions requiring discontinuation in patients who received NUBEQA included cardiac failure (0.4%), and death (0.4%). Adverse reactions occurring more frequently in the NUBEQA arm (≥2% over placebo) were fatigue (16% versus 11%), pain in extremity (6% versus 3%) and rash (3% versus 1%). NUBEQA was not studied in women and there is a warning and precaution for embryo-fetal toxicity.1

About the ARANOTE Trial

The ARANOTE trial will be a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III study of NUBEQA in addition to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) versus placebo plus ADT in men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). The primary endpoint of this study is radiological progression-free survival (rPFS), as measured as the time from the date of randomization to the date of first documentation of radiological progressive disease or death due to any cause, whichever occurs first. The trial is expected to enroll about 555 men, with the first patients enrolled by the end of Q1 2021.

Data from the Phase III ARAMIS Trial

Previously published in The New England Journal of Medicine, results in 1,509 patients from the Phase III ARAMIS trial demonstrated a highly significant improvement in the primary efficacy endpoint of metastasis-free survival (MFS), with a median of 40.4 months (n=955) with NUBEQA plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), more than double the 18.4 months (n=554) for placebo plus ADT (p<0.001). MFS is defined as the time from randomization to the time of first evidence of blinded independent central review (BICR)-confirmed distant metastasis or death from any cause within 33 weeks after the last evaluable scan, whichever occurred first.1

Additionally, NUBEQA plus ADT showed a statistically significant improvement in the secondary endpoint of overall survival (OS) compared to placebo plus ADT, with a 31% reduction in risk of death (HR=0.69, 95% CI 0.53-0.88; p=0.003). OS was statistically significant despite 31% (n=170) of patients in the ADT arm crossing over to NUBEQA. In total, 55% (n=307) of patients in the ADT arm crossed over to NUBEQA or received another life-prolonging therapy prior to this analysis.1

Dose interruptions due to an adverse reaction occurred in 13% of patients treated with NUBEQA. The most frequent adverse reactions requiring dosage interruption in patients who received NUBEQA included hypertension (0.6%), diarrhea (0.5%), and pneumonia (0.5%). Dose reductions due to an adverse reaction occurred in 6% of patients treated with NUBEQA. The most frequent adverse reactions requiring dosage reduction in patients treated with NUBEQA included fatigue (0.7%), hypertension (0.3%), and nausea (0.3 %).1

About NUBEQA® (darolutamide)1

NUBEQA is an androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) with a distinct chemical structure that competitively inhibits androgen binding, AR nuclear translocation, and AR-mediated transcription.1 A Phase III study in metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (ARASENS) is ongoing. Information about this trial can be found at

Developed jointly by Bayer and Orion Corporation, a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company, NUBEQA is indicated for the treatment of men with nmCRPC.1 The approvals of NUBEQA in the U.S., European Union (EU), and other global markets have been based on the pivotal Phase III ARAMIS trial data evaluating the efficacy and safety of NUBEQA plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) compared to ADT alone.1 Filings in other regions are underway or planned.


NUBEQA® (darolutamide) is an androgen receptor inhibitor indicated for the treatment of patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.


Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Safety and efficacy of NUBEQA have not been established in females. NUBEQA can cause fetal harm and loss of pregnancy. Advise males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with NUBEQA and for 1 week after the last dose.

Adverse Reactions

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 25% of patients receiving NUBEQA and in 20% of patients receiving placebo. Serious adverse reactions in ≥1 % of patients who received NUBEQA were urinary retention, pneumonia, and hematuria. Overall, 3.9% of patients receiving NUBEQA and 3.2% of patients receiving placebo died from adverse reactions, which included death (0.4%), cardiac failure (0.3%), cardiac arrest (0.2%), general physical health deterioration (0.2%), and pulmonary embolism (0.2%) for NUBEQA.

Adverse reactions occurring more frequently in the NUBEQA arm (≥2% over placebo) were fatigue (16% vs 11%), pain in extremity (6% vs 3%) and rash (3% vs 1%).

Clinically significant adverse reactions occurring in ≥2% of patients treated with NUBEQA included ischemic heart disease (4.0% vs 3.4% on placebo) and heart failure (2.1% vs 0.9% on placebo).

Drug Interactions

Effect of Other Drugs on NUBEQA Combined P-gp and strong or moderate CYP3A4 inducers decrease NUBEQA exposure, which may decrease NUBEQA activity. Avoid concomitant use.

Combined P-gp and strong CYP3A4 inhibitors increase NUBEQA exposure, which may increase the risk of NUBEQA adverse reactions. Monitor more frequently and modify NUBEQA dose as needed.

Effects of NUBEQA on Other DrugsNUBEQA inhibits breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) transporter. Concomitant use increases exposure (AUC) and maximal concentration of BCRP substrates, which may increase the risk of BCRP substrate-related toxicities. Avoid concomitant use where possible. If used together, monitor more frequently for adverse reactions, and consider dose reduction of the BCRP substrate.

NUBEQA inhibits OATP1B1 and OATP1B3 transporters. Concomitant use may increase plasma concentrations of OATP1B1 or OATP1B3 substrates. Monitor more frequently for adverse reactions and consider dose reduction of these substrates.

Review the prescribing information of drugs that are BCRP, OATP1B1, and OATP1B3 substrates when used concomitantly with NUBEQA.

For important risk and use information about NUBEQA, please see the accompanying full Prescribing Information.

About Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed malignancy in men worldwide. In 2018, an estimated 1.2 million men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 358,000 died from the disease worldwide.2

At the time of diagnosis, most men have localized prostate cancer, meaning their cancer is confined to the prostate gland and can be treated with curative surgery or radiotherapy.3,4 Upon relapse when the disease will metastasize or spread, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the cornerstone of treatment for this hormone-sensitive disease. Approximately five percent of men will already suffer from prostate cancer with distant metastases when first diagnosed. Men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) will start their treatment with hormone therapy, such as ADT, androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) plus ADT or a combination of the chemotherapy docetaxel and ADT. Despite this first-line treatment, most men with mHSPC will eventually progress to metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), which can impact survival.5,6

About Oncology at Bayer

Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The oncology franchise at Bayer now expands to six marketed products and several other assets in various stages of clinical development. Together, these products reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way that cancer is treated.

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to

© 2021 Bayer
BAYER, the Bayer Cross and NUBEQA are registered trademarks of Bayer.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.



  1. NUBEQA® (darolutamide) tablets [Prescribing Information]. Whippany, NJ: Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, January 2021.
  2. GLOBOCAN 2018: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2018. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Accessed February 2021.
  3. Cancer.Net 2020: Prostate Cancer Statistics. Accessed February 2021.
  4. American Cancer Society: Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer. Accessed February 2021.
  5. Siegel DA, O’Neil ME, Richards TB, Dowling NF, Weir HK. Prostate Cancer Incidence and Survival, by Stage and Race/Ethnicity — United States, 2001–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1473–1480.
  6. Ng, K., Smith, S., Shamash, J. Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer (mHSPC): Advances and Treatment Strategies in the First-Line Setting. Oncol Ther 8, 209–230 (2020).



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Last Updated: 08-Feb-2021