Phase 3 Trial Shows Denosumab Delayed Skeletal Related Events in Advanced Cancer Patients With Bone Metastases| Amgen

Phase 3 Trial Shows Denosumab Delayed Skeletal Related Events in Advanced Cancer Patients With Bone Metastases

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) today announced detailed results from a Phase 3 trial evaluating denosumab administered subcutaneously versus Zometa(R) (zoledronic acid) administered as an intravenous infusion in the treatment of bone metastases in 1,776 advanced cancer patients with solid tumors (not including breast and prostate cancer) or multiple myeloma. These results were presented today at the 2009 ECCO 15 - ESMO 34 European Multidisciplinary Congress in Berlin, Germany (Abstract Number: 20LBA).

For the primary endpoint of this study, the median time to first on-study skeletal related event (SRE) (fracture, radiation to bone, surgery to bone, or spinal cord compression) was 20.6 months for those patients receiving denosumab and 16.3 months for those patients receiving Zometa (hazard ratio 0.84, 95 percent CI: 0.71-0.98), which is statistically significant for non-inferiority (p=0.0007). Although numerically greater, the delay in the time to first SRE associated with denosumab was not statistically superior compared to Zometa based upon the statistical testing strategy (adjusted p=0.06) (secondary endpoint). The time to first-and-subsequent SRE was also numerically greater but not statistically superior compared to Zometa (hazard ratio 0.90, 95 percent CI: 0.77-1.04, p=0.14) (secondary endpoint).

"It is encouraging to see denosumab's efficacy in this broad cancer population. There is no need for renal monitoring or dose adjustments due to renal impairment," said David Henry, M.D., clinical professor of Medicine, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America. "Furthermore, the positive results of this study, combined with the convenience of a monthly subcutaneous injection and without the flu-like symptoms associated with Zometa administration, make this an exciting potential treatment option for advanced cancer patients."

Bone metastases, the spread of tumors to the bone, are a serious concern for many advanced cancer patients. When cancer spreads to the bone, the growing cancer cells weaken and destroy the bone around the tumor. This damage can result in a number of serious bone complications, collectively called skeletal related events.

Denosumab also delayed the median time to first on-study SRE or hypercalcemia of malignancy (HCM) compared to Zometa (hazard ratio 0.83, 95 percent CI: 0.71, 0.97; p=0.02). The median time to first on-study SRE or HCM was 19.0 months for denosumab and 14.4 months for Zometa.

Bone destruction is a major cause of pain in approximately 70 percent of patients with metastatic disease. (1) In an exploratory analysis, patients on the denosumab arm reported worsening of pain later than those on the Zometa arm (57 days versus 36 days, respectively).

Adverse events rates (96 percent denosumab, 96 percent Zometa) and serious adverse events (63 percent denosumab, 66 percent Zometa) were similar between groups and were consistent with what has previously been reported for these two agents. Rates of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) were balanced and infrequent in both treatment groups (10 patients receiving denosumab as compared with 11 patients receiving Zometa). Infectious adverse events were balanced between the two treatment arms, as was overall survival (hazard ratio 0.95, 95 percent CI: 0.83-1.08; p=0.43) and the time to cancer progression (hazard ratio 1.00, 95 percent CI: 0.89, 1.12; p=1.0).

Detailed data from a second Phase 3, head-to-head trial evaluating denosumab versus Zometa will be presented Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 at 14:15 - 14:30 Central European Summer Time (CEST) in the Presidential Session of ECCO-ESMO (Abstract #2LBA; presentation embargoed until 12:15 CEST Sept. 22, 2009). In this study of 2,049 patients with advanced breast cancer, denosumab met all primary and secondary endpoints and demonstrated superior efficacy compared to Zometa in the treatment of bone metastases.

Webcast Information

Denosumab data presented at ECCO-ESMO today will be discussed by Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference in New York this morning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET). Live audio of the presentation will be available over the Internet and can be accessed from Amgen's Web site at, under Investors.

An analyst/investor event will also be held from the Congress on September 24th, at 6:30 a.m. ET to discuss data presented at ECCO-ESMO. A webcast of the event can be found on Amgen's Web site at, under Investors. The audio webcast will be archived and available for replay for at least 72 hours.

Study Design

This was an international, Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, active-comparator-controlled study comparing denosumab with Zometa in the treatment of bone metastases in patients with advanced cancer (excluding breast and prostate cancer) or multiple myeloma. Patients enrolled in this event-driven study were randomized in a one-to-one ratio to receive either 120 mg of denosumab subcutaneously every four weeks (Q4W) or Zometa administered intravenously at a dose of 4 mg delivered as a single, 15-minute infusion every four weeks.

In clinical trials thus far to test new medications for bone metastases, treatment success has been measured by whether the bone complications, or SREs, caused by the tumor are reduced or delayed. The primary and secondary endpoints of the denosumab bone metastases studies use a composite endpoint of four SREs - fracture, the need for radiation to bone, the need for bone surgery, and spinal cord compression - to measure the effectiveness of denosumab versus Zometa.

The primary endpoint was to evaluate if denosumab is non-inferior to Zometa with respect to the first on-study SRE in patients with advanced cancer (excluding breast and prostate cancer) or multiple myeloma and bone metastases. Secondary endpoints were to evaluate if denosumab is superior to Zometa with respect to the first on-study SRE, as well as first-and-subsequent on-study SREs, and to assess the safety and tolerability of denosumab compared with Zometa.

About Denosumab and Amgen's Research in Bone Biology

Denosumab is the first fully human monoclonal antibody in late stage clinical development that specifically targets RANK Ligand, the essential regulator of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bone). With more than 19,000 patients in trials across indications worldwide, the denosumab development program is the largest ever initiated by Amgen. This broad and deep development program demonstrates Amgen's commitment to researching and delivering pioneering medicines to patients with unmet medical needs. Amgen is studying denosumab in numerous tumor types across the spectrum of cancer-induced bone disease. Over 11,000 patients have been enrolled in the denosumab oncology clinical trials, testing the drug for the reduction of SREs in breast cancer patients, for the amelioration of treatment-induced bone loss in patients with breast or prostate cancers, for the prevention of SREs due to the spread of cancer to the bone in patients with multiple myeloma or those suffering from a variety of solid tumors, and for its potential to delay bone metastases in prostate cancer.

Bone Metastases: Impact and Prevalence

Bone metastases, cancer cells that separate from tumors and migrate to bone tissue where they settle and grow, occur in more than 1.5 million people worldwide.(2) With improvements in cancer care, including earlier diagnosis and new treatment options, leading to increases in survival rates(3), the number of patients developing metastatic disease secondary to a primary cancer is increasing. Bone metastases are a significant problem for patients with certain types of advanced cancer, with incidence rates of nearly 100 percent in myeloma patients and as high as 75 percent in solid tumor patients.

With bone metastases the growing cancer cells weaken and destroy the bone around the tumor. The damage the tumor has caused to the bone can result in a number of serious complications, collectively called SREs. These include fracture of a bone, the need for radiation to bone, the need for bone surgery, or spinal cord compression. All are serious complications for advanced cancer patients.

Regardless of the type of underlying cancer, the process by which cancers invade and destroy bones is fundamentally the same. At the center of this destructive process is a protein RANK Ligand that is stimulated by the presence of cancer in the bone.

The economic burden of U.S. patients with bone metastases is significant and was estimated to be $12.6 billion last year.(4) Patients with bone metastases who experience an SRE incur significantly higher medical costs compared with those who do not experience an SRE.(5)

About Amgen

Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit

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ZOMETA is a registered trademark of Novartis Oncology.

*Editors Note: The FDA has provisionally approved the trade name Prolia(TM) for the proposed indications of treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and treatment and prevention of bone loss in patients undergoing hormone ablation for non-metastatic prostate or breast cancer, for which denosumab is administered twice yearly subcutaneously at a 60 mg dose. The Prolia(TM) trade name is only for these indications and may not apply for other indications of denosumab.

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    Hoboken, NJ: Edition: John Wiley and Sons; 2005:105.
    3. Mundy GR. Metastasis to bone: causes, consequences and therapeutic
    opportunities. Nat Rev Cancer. 2002 Aug;2(8):584-93.
    4. Schulman K and Kohles J. Cancer. 2007;109:2334-2342
    5. GVD/Barber ISPOR 2008 Poster; Schulman 2007; Delea et al. 2006


media Europe/Australia, Sabeena Ahmad, +41 (0) 41 369 25 30, or media U.S., Lisa Rooney, +1-805-447-6437, or investors, Arvind Sood, +1-805-447-1060, all of Amgen, Thousand Oaks