THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., June 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced new data from a prespecified interim analysis of the Phase 3 TOWER study, in which BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) demonstrated an almost two-fold increase in median overall survival (OS) compared to standard of care (SOC). The randomized, open-label TOWER study evaluated the efficacy of BLINCYTO versus SOC chemotherapy in adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative (Ph-) relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Results from the analysis showed that median OS was 7.7 months (95 percent CI: 5.6, 9.6) for BLINCYTO versus 4 months (95 percent CI: 2.9, 5.3) for SOC (stratified log-rank test p=.012; hazard ratio=0.71). As per the recommendation of an independent data monitoring committee, Amgen ended the study early for efficacy based on these results. The data will be presented during The Presidential Symposium at the 21st Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in Copenhagen.
"Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is the most aggressive type of B-cell malignancy," said Max S. Topp, M.D., professor and head of haematology, University Hospital of Wuerzburg, Germany. "The data presented today not only reinforce the potential of immunotherapy delivered by T cell engaging bispecific antibody constructs but also validate the efficacy of BLINCYTO in these heavily pretreated patients."
Improvement in OS was consistent across subgroups regardless of age, prior salvage therapy or prior allogeneic stem cell transplant (alloSCT). Serious adverse events included infection, blood and lymphatic system disorders, nervous system disorders and cytokine release syndrome. The BLINCYTO adverse events observed in the TOWER study were consistent with the known safety profile of BLINCYTO.
"This is the first study of an immunotherapy to demonstrate overall survival benefit in adult patients with Ph-negative B-cell precursor relapsed or refractory ALL, a very complex-to-treat disease with limited treatment options," said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "BLINCYTO is currently approved for the treatment of Ph-negative B-cell precursor relapsed or refractory ALL under accelerated approval, and we look forward to working with regulatory authorities for a full approval for BLINCYTO in this patient population."
ALL is a rare and rapidly progressing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.1,2 Adult patients diagnosed with Ph- B-cell precursor ALL are often young, with a median age at diagnosis of 34-39.3,4 Currently, there is no broadly accepted standard treatment regimen for adult patients with relapsed or refractory ALL beyond chemotherapy.5 Adults with relapsed or refractory ALL typically have a very poor prognosis, with a median OS of three to five months.6
About the TOWER Study
The TOWER study was a Phase 3, randomized, open-label study investigating the efficacy of BLINCYTO versus SOC chemotherapy in adult patients with Ph-relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL. Patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive BLINCYTO or treatment with investigator choice of one of four protocol defined SOC chemotherapy regimens. The primary endpoint was OS. Secondary endpoints included complete remission and the combined endpoint of complete remission plus complete remission with partial or incomplete hematologic recovery.
The TOWER study is the confirmatory trial for BLINCYTO, and Amgen plans to file for full approval of BLINCYTO based on results from the study. Click here to read about the trial on ClinicalTrials.gov.
About Adult ALL
The incidence of adult ALL in European countries is generally between 0.6 to 0.9 per 100,000 persons per year.7 In the United States (U.S.), the incidence of adult ALL is approximately 0.9 per 100,000 persons per year.7 In adult ALL, approximately 75 percent is B-cell precursor ALL, of which 75-80 percent is Ph- and roughly half will be refractory to treatment or experience relapse.7 Thus, with a population projection of 416 million adults in the European Union (EU),8 it is estimated that the incidence of adult Ph-relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL in the EU is approximately 900 patients per year.9 In the U.S., the incidence was approximately 650 patients in 2015.7
About BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab)
BLINCYTO is a bispecific CD19-directed CD3 T cell engager (BiTE®) antibody construct that binds specifically to CD19 expressed on the surface of cells of B-lineage origin and CD3 expressed on the surface of T cells.
BLINCYTO was granted breakthrough therapy and priority review designations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is now approved in the U.S. for the treatment of Ph- relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL. This indication is approved under accelerated approval. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification of clinical benefit in subsequent trials.
In November 2015 BLINCYTO was granted conditional marketing authorization in the EU for the treatment of adults with Ph- relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL.
About BiTE® Technology
Bispecific T cell engager (BiTE®) antibody constructs are a type of immunotherapy being investigated for fighting cancer by helping the body's immune system to detect and target malignant cells. The modified antibodies are designed to engage two different targets simultaneously, thereby juxtaposing T cells (a type of white blood cell capable of killing other cells perceived as threats) to cancer cells. BiTE® antibody constructs help place the T cells within reach of the targeted cell, with the intent of allowing T cells to inject toxins and trigger the cancer cell to die (apoptosis). BiTE® antibody constructs are currently being investigated for their potential to treat a wide variety of cancers. For more information, visit www.biteantibodies.com.
Important EU Product Safety Information
This product is subject to additional monitoring in the EU and EEA. All suspected adverse reactions should be reported in accordance with the national reporting system.
The adverse reactions described in this section were identified in the pivotal clinical study (N=189).The most serious adverse reactions that may occur during blinatumomab treatment include: infections (31.7%), neurologic events (16.4%), neutropenia/febrile neutropenia (15.3%) cytokine release syndrome (0.5%), and tumor lysis syndrome (0.5%). The most common adverse reactions were: infusion-related reactions (67.2%), infections (63.0%), pyrexia (59.8%), headache (34.4%), febrile neutropenia (28%), peripheral edema (25.9%), nausea (24.3%), hypokalaemia (23.8%), constipation (20.6%), anaemia (20.1%), cough (18.5%), diarrhea (18.0%), tremor (17.5%), neutropenia (17.5%), abdominal pain (16.9%), insomnia (15.3%), fatigue (15.3%), and chills (15.3%).
Please refer to the Summary of Product Characteristics for full European prescribing information.
BLINCYTO® U.S. Product Safety Information
Important Safety Information Regarding BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) U.S. Indication
This safety information is specific to the current U.S. approved indication.
WARNING: CYTOKINE RELEASE SYNDROME and NEUROLOGICAL TOXICITIES
- Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), which may be life-threatening or fatal, occurred in patients receiving BLINCYTO®. Interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as recommended.
- Neurological toxicities, which may be severe, life-threatening or fatal, occurred in patients receiving BLINCYTO®. Interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as recommended.
BLINCYTO® is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to blinatumomab or to any component of the product formulation.
Warnings and Precautions
Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS): Life-threatening or fatal CRS occurred in patients receiving BLINCYTO®. Infusion reactions have occurred and may be clinically indistinguishable from manifestations of CRS. Closely monitor patients for signs and symptoms of serious events such as pyrexia, headache, nausea, asthenia, hypotension, increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT), increased aspartate aminotransferase (AST), increased total bilirubin (TBILI), disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), capillary leak syndrome (CLS), and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome (HLH/MAS). Interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as outlined in the Prescribing Information (PI).
Neurological Toxicities: Approximately 50% of patients receiving BLINCYTO® in clinical trials experienced neurological toxicities. Severe, life-threatening, or fatal neurological toxicities occurred in approximately 15% of patients, including encephalopathy, convulsions, speech disorders, disturbances in consciousness, confusion and disorientation, and coordination and balance disorders. The median time to onset of any neurological toxicity was 7 days. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms and interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as outlined in the PI.
Infections: Approximately 25% of patients receiving BLINCYTO® experienced serious infections, some of which were life-threatening or fatal. Administer prophylactic antibiotics and employ surveillance testing as appropriate during treatment. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms of infection and treat appropriately, including interruption or discontinuation of BLINCYTO® as needed.
Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS): Life-threatening or fatal TLS has been observed. Preventive measures, including pretreatment nontoxic cytoreduction and on treatment hydration, should be used during BLINCYTO® treatment. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of TLS and interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as needed to manage these events.
Neutropenia and Febrile Neutropenia, including life-threatening cases, have been observed. Monitor appropriate laboratory parameters during BLINCYTO® infusion and interrupt BLINCYTO® if prolonged neutropenia occurs.
Effects on Ability to Drive and Use Machines: Due to the possibility of neurological events, including seizures, patients receiving BLINCYTO® are at risk for loss of consciousness, and should be advised against driving and engaging in hazardous occupations or activities such as operating heavy or potentially dangerous machinery while BLINCYTO® is being administered.
Elevated Liver Enzymes: Transient elevations in liver enzymes have been associated with BLINCYTO® treatment. The majority of these events were observed in the setting of CRS. The median time to onset was 15 days. Grade 3 or greater elevations in liver enzymes occurred in 6% of patients outside the setting of CRS and resulted in treatment discontinuation in less than 1% of patients. Monitor ALT, AST, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), and TBILI prior to the start of and during BLINCYTO® treatment. BLINCYTO® treatment should be interrupted if transaminases rise to > 5 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) or if TBILI rises to > 3 times ULN.
Leukoencephalopathy: Although the clinical significance is unknown, cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes showing leukoencephalopathy have been observed in patients receiving BLINCYTO®, especially in patients previously treated with cranial irradiation and anti-leukemic chemotherapy. Preparation and administration errors have occurred with BLINCYTO® treatment. Follow instructions for preparation (including admixing) and administration in the PI strictly to minimize medication errors (including underdose and overdose).
The most commonly reported adverse reactions (≥ 20%) in clinical trials were pyrexia (62%), headache (36%), peripheral edema (25%), febrile neutropenia (25%), nausea (25%), hypokalemia (23%), rash (21%), tremor (20%), diarrhea (20%) and constipation (20%).
Serious adverse reactions were reported in 65% of patients. The most common serious adverse reactions (≥ 2%) included febrile neutropenia, pyrexia, pneumonia, sepsis, neutropenia, device-related infection, tremor, encephalopathy, infection, overdose, confusion, Staphylococcal bacteremia, and headache.
U.S. Dosage and Administration Guidelines
BLINCYTO® is administered as a continuous intravenous infusion at a constant flow rate using an infusion pump which should be programmable, lockable, non-elastomeric, and have an alarm. It is very important that the instructions for preparation (including admixing) and administration provided in the full Prescribing Information are strictly followed to minimize medication errors (including underdose and overdose).
Please see full U.S. Prescribing Information and medication guide for BLINCYTO® at www.BLINCYTO.com.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
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- Advani AS. New immune strategies for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Antibodies and chimeric antigen receptors. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2013;131-7.
- Katz AJ, Chia VM, Schoonen M, et al. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia: an assessment of international incidence, survival, and disease burden. Cancer Causes Control. 2015;26(11):1627-42.
- United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013) World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision. http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/publications/Files/WPP2012_HIGHLIGHTS.pdf. Accessed April 13, 2016.
- Amgen Data on File.
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