FDA GRANTS FULL APPROVAL FOR BLINCYTO® (BLINATUMOMAB) TO TREAT MINIMAL RESIDUAL DISEASE-POSITIVE B-CELL PRECURSOR ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA| Amgen

FDA GRANTS FULL APPROVAL FOR BLINCYTO® (BLINATUMOMAB) TO TREAT MINIMAL RESIDUAL DISEASE-POSITIVE B-CELL PRECURSOR ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA

Conversion From Accelerated to Full Approval

Reinforces BLINCYTO as Standard of Care for Patients With Minimal Residual Disease at Baseline After Remission

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., June 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients with CD19-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) in first or second complete remission with minimal residual disease (MRD) greater than or equal to 0.1%, based on additional data from two Phase 3 studies that were submitted. The approval converts BLINCYTO's accelerated approval to a full approval. 

"We are pleased the FDA has granted full approval for BLINCYTO, the first FDA-approved CD19-directed CD3 T-cell engager BiTE® immunotherapy and the first to be FDA-approved for MRD in 2018," said David M. Reese, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "Today's full approval underscores the clinical benefit of BLINCYTO for people living with B-ALL, and we look forward to exploring how we can continue to make a significant impact for these patients."

 Amgen continues to advance a robust development program for BLINCYTO, including studies aimed at treating patients with MRD-negative B-ALL, trials designed to minimize chemotherapy, and the clinical investigation of a subcutaneous formulation, all intended to help address remaining unmet needs for patients.

"In a Phase 2 study, roughly 80% of adult patients treated with blinatumomab experienced a complete MRD response," said principal investigator Elias Jabbour, M.D., Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "The FDA's decision to grant a full approval for blinatumomab further validates the use of this therapy to treat adults and children with B-cell precursor ALL with MRD present following a remission, which is a strong predictor of relapse in this patient population."

About BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab)
BLINCYTO is a BiTE® (bispecific T-cell engager) immuno-oncology therapy that targets CD19 surface antigens on B cells. BiTE molecules fight cancer by helping the body's immune system detect and target malignant cells by engaging T cells (a type of white blood cell capable of killing other cells perceived as threats) to cancer cells. By bringing T cells near cancer cells, the T cells can inject toxins and trigger cancer cell death (apoptosis). BiTE immuno-oncology therapies are currently being investigated for their potential to treat a wide variety of cancers.

BLINCYTO was granted breakthrough therapy and priority review designations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is approved in the U.S. for the treatment of:

  • CD19-positive B-cell precursor ALL in first or second complete remission with minimal residual disease (MRD) greater than or equal to 0.1% in adults and pediatric patients.
  • relapsed or refractory CD19-positive B-cell precursor ALL in adults and pediatric patients.

In the European Union (EU), BLINCYTO is indicated as monotherapy for the treatment of:

  • adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative CD19 positive relapsed or refractory B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
  • adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative CD19 positive B-precursor ALL in first or second complete remission with minimal residual disease (MRD) greater than or equal to 0.1%.
  • pediatric patients aged 1 year or older with Philadelphia chromosome negative CD19 positive B-precursor ALL which is refractory or in relapse after receiving at least two prior therapies or in relapse after receiving prior allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

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® and treat with corticosteroids as recommended.
  • Neurological toxicities, which may be severe, life-threatening or fatal, occurred in patients receiving BLINCYTO®. Interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as recommended.

Contraindications

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): CRS, which may be life-threatening or fatal, occurred in 15% of patients with R/R ALL and in 7% of patients with MRD-positive ALL. The median time to onset of CRS is 2 days after the start of infusion and the median time to resolution of CRS was 5 days among cases that resolved. Closely monitor and advise patients to contact their healthcare professional for signs and symptoms of serious adverse events such as fever, headache, nausea, asthenia, hypotension, increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT), increased aspartate aminotransferase (AST), increased total bilirubin (TBILI), and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The manifestations of CRS after treatment with BLINCYTO® overlap with those of infusion reactions, capillary leak syndrome, and hemophagocytic histiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome. If severe CRS occurs, interrupt BLINCYTO® until CRS resolves. Discontinue BLINCYTO® permanently if life-threatening CRS occurs. Administer corticosteroids for severe or life-threatening CRS. 
  • Neurological Toxicities: Approximately 65% of patients receiving BLINCYTO® in clinical trials experienced neurological toxicities. The median time to the first event was within the first 2 weeks of BLINCYTO® treatment and the majority of events resolved. The most common (≥ 10%) manifestations of neurological toxicity were headache and tremor. Severe, life-threatening, or fatal neurological toxicities occurred in approximately 13% of patients, including encephalopathy, convulsions, speech disorders, disturbances in consciousness, confusion and disorientation, and coordination and balance disorders. Manifestations of neurological toxicity included cranial nerve disorders. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms and interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as outlined in the PI. 
  • Infections: Approximately 25% of patients receiving BLINCYTO® in clinical trials experienced serious infections such as sepsis, pneumonia, bacteremia, opportunistic infections, and catheter-site 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), which may be life-threatening or fatal, 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 (including, but not limited to, white blood cell count and absolute neutrophil count) 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 with a median time to onset of 3 days. In patients receiving BLINCYTO®, although the majority of these events were observed in the setting of CRS, some cases of elevated liver enzymes were observed outside the setting of CRS, with a median time to onset of 19 days. Grade 3 or greater elevations in liver enzymes occurred in approximately 7% of patients outside the setting of CRS and resulted in treatment discontinuation in less than 1% of patients. Monitor ALT, AST, gamma-glutamyl transferase, 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.
  • Pancreatitis: Fatal pancreatitis has been reported in patients receiving BLINCYTO® in combination with dexamethasone in clinical trials and the post-marketing setting. Evaluate patients who develop signs and symptoms of pancreatitis and interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® and dexamethasone as needed.
  • 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 antileukemic 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).
  • Immunization: Vaccination with live virus vaccines is not recommended for at least 2 weeks prior to the start of BLINCYTO® treatment, during treatment, and until immune recovery following last cycle of BLINCYTO®
  • Benzyl Alcohol Toxicity in Neonates: Serious adverse reactions, including fatal reactions and the "gasping syndrome," have been reported in very low birth weight (VLBW) neonates born weighing less than 1500 g, and early preterm neonates (infants born less than 34 weeks gestational age) who received intravenous drugs containing benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Early preterm VLBW neonates may be more likely to develop these reactions, because they may be less able to metabolize benzyl alcohol.

    Use the preservative-free preparations of BLINCYTO® where possible in neonates. When prescribing BLINCYTO® (with preservative) for neonatal patients, consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources including BLINCYTO® (with preservative), other products containing benzyl alcohol or other excipients (e.g., ethanol, propylene glycol) which compete with benzyl alcohol for the same metabolic pathway.

    Monitor neonatal patients receiving BLINCYTO® (with preservative) for new or worsening metabolic acidosis. The minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which serious adverse reactions may occur in neonates is not known. The BLINCYTO® 7-Day bag (with preservative) contains 7.4 mg of benzyl alcohol per mL.
  • Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on its mechanism of action, BLINCYTO® may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to the fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with BLINCYTO® and for 48 hours after the last dose.

 Adverse Reactions

  • The most common adverse reactions (≥ 20%) are pyrexia, infusion-related reactions, infections (pathogen unspecified), headache, neutropenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia.

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 BLINCYTO® full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNINGS, at www.BLINCYTO.com.

About BiTE® Technology

BiTE® (bispecific T-cell engager) technology is a targeted immuno-oncology platform that is designed to engage patient's own T cells to any tumor-specific antigen, activating the cytotoxic potential of T cells to eliminate detectable cancer. The BiTE immuno-oncology platform has the potential to treat different tumor types through tumor-specific antigens. The BiTE platform has a goal of leading to off-the-shelf solutions, which have the potential to make innovative T cell treatment available to all providers when their patients need it. Amgen is advancing more than a dozen BiTE molecules across a broad range of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, further investigating BiTE technology with the goal of enhancing patient experience and therapeutic potential. To learn more about BiTE technology, visit www.AmgenBiTETechnology.com.

About Amgen 

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. 

Amgen is one of the 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is also part of the Nasdaq-100 index. In 2022, Amgen was named one of the "World's Best Employers" by Forbes and one of "America's 100 Most Sustainable Companies" by Barron's.

For more information, visit Amgen.com and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

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CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
Michael Strapazon, 805-313-5553 (media)
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