THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) today issued the following statement:
Amgen has received notice that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a negative opinion for Amgen's application to extend the marketing authorization in Europe for Vectibix(R) (panitumumab) to include combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with wild-type KRAS metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
Amgen will review the CHMP opinion and consider appropriate next steps, as Amgen believes that Vectibix in combination with chemotherapy provides an important treatment option for patients with wild-type KRAS mCRC. Amgen remains committed to patients with this aggressive disease, for whom there are limited treatment options.
Vectibix is already approved and established in more than 30 countries outside of the United States (U.S.) as a monotherapy treatment for patients with wild-type KRAS mCRC, when standard chemotherapy is no longer effective. In the U.S., Vectibix received accelerated approval in September 2006 as a monotherapy for the treatment of patients with EGFR-expressing mCRC after disease progression on or following fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-containing chemotherapy regimens. Furthermore, use of Vectibix is not recommended in patients whose tumors have KRAS mutations in codon 12 or 13. In Japan and Israel, Vectibix is approved for use in combination with chemotherapy for patients with wild-type KRAS mCRC.
Data from studies 20050203 (PRIME) and 20050181 ('181') showed that adding Vectibix to FOLFOX and FOLFIRI chemotherapy, respectively, improved progression-free survival (PFS) versus chemotherapy alone in patients with wild-type KRAS mCRC. Patients taking this combination have a greater chance of living longer without their disease getting worse. Additionally, the response rate of Vectibix plus chemotherapy was higher than chemotherapy alone. Although numerically greater, the improvement in median overall survival (OS) did not achieve statistical significance in the Vectibix arm of either trial.(i)(ii)
In general, adverse events rates were comparable across arms in both studies, with the exception of known toxicities associated with anti-EGFR therapy, such as rash, diarrhea, and hypomagnesemia. Vectibix-related grade 3/4 infusion reactions were reported in less than one percent of patients. In patients with mutated KRAS tumors, outcomes were inferior for those receiving Vectibix plus FOLFOX versus FOLFOX alone. (iii)(iv)
Results from studies performed over the last 25 years indicate that KRAS plays an important role in cell growth regulation. In mCRC, EGFR transmits signals through a set of intracellular proteins. Upon reaching the nucleus, these signals instruct the cancer cell to reproduce and metastasize, leading to cancer progression.(v) Anti-EGFR antibody therapies work by inhibiting the activation of EGFR, thereby inhibiting downstream events that lead to malignant signaling. However, in patients whose tumors harbor a mutated KRAS gene, the KRAS protein is always turned "on," regardless of whether the EGFR has been activated or therapeutically inhibited. KRAS mutations occur in approximately 40-50 percent of mCRC patients.(vi)(vii)
About Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide in men and the second most common in women. In 2008, approximately 1.23 million cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed globally.(viii) In 2008, there were an estimated 333,330 new cases of colorectal cancer in the EU.(ix)
Vectibix is the first fully human anti-EGFR antibody approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of mCRC. Vectibix was approved in the U.S. in September 2006 as a monotherapy for the treatment of patients with EGFR-expressing mCRC after disease progression on or following fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-containing chemotherapy regimens.
The effectiveness of Vectibix as a single agent for the treatment of EGFR-expressing mCRC is based on progression-free survival. Currently no data are available that demonstrate an improvement in disease-related symptoms or increased survival with Vectibix.
Retrospective subset analyses of mCRC trials have not shown a treatment benefit for Vectibix in patients whose tumors had KRAS mutations in codon 12 or 13. Use of Vectibix is not recommended for the treatment of colorectal cancer with these mutations.(x)
In December 2007, the European Medicine Agency (EMA) granted a conditional marketing authorization for Vectibix as a monotherapy for the treatment of patients with EGFR-expressing mCRC with non-mutated (wild-type) KRAS after failure of fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-containing chemotherapy regimens.(xi) Vectibix has been launched in more than 30 European Union countries, Russia, Israel, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and Japan. Applications in the rest of the world are pending.
Important European Product Safety Information
For full prescribing information please see the Summary of Product Characteristics.
Vectibix is indicated as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with EGFR-expressing, metastatic colorectal carcinoma (mCRC) with nonmutated (wild-type) KRAS after failure of fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-containing chemotherapy regimens.
Vectibix is contraindicated in patients with a history of severe or life-threatening hypersensitivity reactions to the product and in patients with interstitial pneumonitis or pulmonary fibrosis.
Other common adverse events of special importance associated with Vectibix and/or EGFR monoclonal antibody therapies include dermatologic-related reactions, pulmonary complications, electrolyte disturbances and infusion-related reactions (including rare reports with fatal outcome). These events should be monitored carefully, see Summary of Product Characteristics for information on appropriate management of these adverse events. Acute renal failure has been observed in patients who develop severe diarrhoea and dehydration.
Vectibix should not be used in combination with IFL [bolus 5-fluorouracil (500 mg/m2), leucovorin (20 mg/m2) and irinotecan (125 mg/m2)] or in combination with bevacizumab containing chemotherapy.
Vectibix should not be administered in combination with oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy to mCRC patients with mutant KRAS tumours or for whom KRAS tumour status is unknown.
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures, 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, 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, bone disease, 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 vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
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Carrie Deverell: +41 41 3690 308 (E.U. media)
Christine Regan: +1 (805) 447-5476 (U.S. media)
Arvind Sood: +1 (805)-447-1060 (investors)
(i) Douillard, JE et al. Randomized, Phase 3 Study (PRIME) of Panitumumab with FOLFOX4 versus FOLFOX4 Alone as First-Line Treatment in Patients With Previously Untreated Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. J Clin Oncol 28. 2010.
(ii) Peeters, M et al. Randomized Phase III Study of Panitumumab With Fluorouracil, Leucovorin, and Irinotecan (FOLFIRI) Compared With FOLFIRI Alone As Second-Line Treatment in Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. J Clin Oncol 28, 2010.
(iii) Adverse event rates were comparable across arms with the exception of known toxicities associated with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy such as rash, diarrhea and hypomagnesemia. Vectibix-related grade 3 infusion reactions were reported for two patients (less than 1 percent).
(iv) In general, adverse events rates were comparable across arms with the exception of known toxicities associated with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy such as rash, diarrhea, and hypomagnesemia. Vectibix-related grade 3/4 infusion reactions were reported in less than one percent of patients.
(v) Malumbres, M. and Barbacid, M. RAS oncogenes: the first 30 years. Nature Reviews Cancer. 3:459-65, 2003.
(vi) Karapentis C, S. Snell, L, E. The Laboratory Assessment of KRAS Mutation Status in Colorectal Cancer.Asia, Pacific Journal of Oncology and Hematology. 2010.
(vii) Friday BB and Adjei AA. K-ras as a target for cancer therapy. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1756: 127-144, 2005.
(viii) Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, Forman D, Mathers C and Parkin DM. GLOBOCAN 2008, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10.Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010.
(ix) Ferlay J, Parkin DM, Steliarova-Foucher E Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in Europe in 2008. Eur J Cancer. 2010 Mar; 46(4):765-81. Epub 2010 Jan 29.
(x) Vectibix (panitumumab) [prescribing information]. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Amgen; 2011.
(xi) Vectibix (panitumumab) SPC. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Amgen; 2011.