Libtayo® (cemiplimab) receives positive CHMP opinion for the treatment in Europe of two advanced cancers
- Libtayo recommended for approval in the first-line treatment of certain patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors have ≥50% PD-L1 expression
- Libtayo also recommended for approval in patients with advanced basal cell carcinoma who have progressed on or are intolerant to a hedgehog pathway inhibitor
- CHMP has now issued three positive opinions for Libtayo in advanced cancers
May 24, 2021
The European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted positive opinions for Sanofi and Regeneron’s PD-1 inhibitor Libtayo® (cemiplimab) as monotherapy in two advanced cancers.
The CHMP recommended the approval of Libtayo for the first-line treatment of adults with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) expressing PD-L1 in ≥50% of tumor cells with no EGFR, ALK or ROS1 aberrations. Patients must have metastatic disease or locally advanced disease that is not a candidate for definitive chemoradiation. Libtayo was also recommended for approval in adults with locally advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma (BCC) who have progressed on or are intolerant to a hedgehog pathway inhibitor (HHI). The European Commission is expected to make a decision on both indications in the coming months.
The positive opinion for Libtayo in advanced NSCLC is based on results from a Phase 3 trial, which allowed for the enrollment of patients with disease characteristics frequently underrepresented in advanced NSCLC pivotal trials, including those with pre-treated and clinically stable brain metastases or locally advanced NSCLC and who were not candidates for definitive chemoradiation. Results from the pivotal trial were published in The Lancet in February 2021.
The positive opinion for Libtayo in locally advanced and metastatic BCC is based on results from the largest prospective clinical trial in these patients previously treated with an HHI to date, with data presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Virtual Congress 2020 and recently published in The Lancet Oncology. Libtayo is the first immunotherapy to receive a positive CHMP opinion for this indication.
Libtayo is currently approved in the European Union (EU) and other countries for the treatment of certain patients with advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC).
About the Phase 3 Trial in Advanced NSCLC
EMPOWER-Lung 1 was an open-label, randomized, multi-center Phase 3 trial designed to investigate Libtayo monotherapy compared to platinum-doublet chemotherapy as first-line treatment in patients with advanced NSCLC who tested positive for PD-L1 in ≥50% of tumor cells and had no EGFR, ALK or ROS1 aberrations. PD-L1 expression was confirmed using the Agilent Dako PD-L1 IHC 22C3 pharmDx kit. The primary endpoints were overall survival and progression-free survival, and secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR), duration of response (DOR) and quality of life. In 2020, the trial was stopped early due to significant improvement in overall survival.
The trial randomized 710 patients with either previously untreated metastatic NSCLC (stage IV) or locally advanced NSCLC (stage IIIB/C) who were not candidates for surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation or who had progressed after treatment with definitive chemoradiation. Among those enrolled, 12% had pre-treated and clinically stable brain metastases and 16% had locally advanced NSCLC that was not a candidate for definitive chemoradiation.
Patients whose disease progressed in the trial were able to change their therapy: those assigned to chemotherapy were allowed to crossover to Libtayo treatment, while those assigned to Libtayo monotherapy were allowed to continue Libtayo treatment and add four cycles of chemotherapy. There was a >70% crossover rate to Libtayo following disease progression on chemotherapy.
About the Pivotal Trial in Advanced BCC
EMPOWER-BCC 1 was an open-label, multi-center, non-randomized Phase 2 trial of patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic BCC (nodal or distant). Patients in both cohorts had either progressed on HHI therapy, had not had an objective response after nine months on HHI therapy, or were intolerant of prior HHI therapy. The primary efficacy endpoint was confirmed ORR and a key secondary endpoint was DOR, assessed by independent central review.
Libtayo is a fully human monoclonal antibody targeting the immune checkpoint receptor PD-1 on T-cells. By binding to PD-1, Libtayo has been shown to block cancer cells from using the PD-1 pathway to suppress T-cell activation.
Libtayo is currently approved as the first systemic treatment in the U.S., EU and other countries for adults with metastatic CSCC or locally advanced CSCC who are not candidates for curative surgery or curative radiation. In the U.S., Libtayo is also approved as the first immunotherapy indicated for patients with advanced BCC previously treated with an HHI or for whom an HHI is not appropriate that is either locally advanced (full approval) or metastatic (accelerated approval), as well as for the first-line treatment of certain patients with advanced NSCLC with ≥50% PD-L1 expression and no EGFR, ALK or ROS1 aberrations.
The generic name for Libtayo in its approved U.S. indications is cemiplimab-rwlc, with rwlc as the suffix designated in accordance with Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products Guidance for Industry issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The extensive clinical program for Libtayo is focused on difficult-to-treat cancers. Current clinical development programs include Libtayo in combination with chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC irrespective of PD-L1 expression and Libtayo monotherapy for advanced cervical cancer. Libtayo is also being investigated in combination with either conventional or novel therapeutic approaches for other solid tumors and blood cancers. These potential uses are investigational, and their safety and efficacy have not been evaluated by any regulatory authority.
Libtayo is being jointly developed by Regeneron and Sanofi under a global collaboration agreement.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to nine FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, almost all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite® technologies, such as VelocImmune®, which uses unique genetically humanized mice to produce optimized fully human antibodies and bispecific antibodies, and through ambitious research initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.
For additional information about the company, please visit www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.
Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.
With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.
Sanofi, Empowering Life