publication date: Mar. 2, 2018

Drugs and Targets

Lilly receives additional FDA approval for Verzenio for advanced breast cancer

Eli Lilly and Co. said FDA has approved Verzenio (abemaciclib) in combination with an aromatase inhibitor as initial endocrine-based therapy for the treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

This additional FDA approval marks the third indication for Verzenio within five months. In September 2017, Verzenio became the first and only cyclin-dependent kinase 4 & 6 inhibitor approved in combination and as a single agent in metastatic breast cancer.

Verzenio was approved for use in combination with fulvestrant for the treatment of women with HR+, HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer with disease progression following endocrine therapy, and as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with HR+, HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer with disease progression following endocrine therapy and prior chemotherapy in the metastatic setting.

This approval of Verzenio as initial therapy in combination with an AI is based on the efficacy and safety demonstrated in the pivotal MONARCH 3 clinical trial. MONARCH 3 is a phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating Verzenio in combination with an AI as initial endocrine-based therapy that enrolled 493 postmenopausal women with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer who had no prior systemic treatment for advanced disease.

In patients who received neoadjuvant/adjuvant endocrine therapy, a disease-free interval of more than 12 months since completion of endocrine therapy was required. This Verzenio new drug application was given Priority Review as part of the FDA’s Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions, a program used for therapies that address an unmet medical need in the treatment of serious or life-threatening conditions, such as metastatic breast cancer. Verzenio was also granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation in 2015 based on the phase I JPBA trial.

In MONARCH 3, Verzenio dosed orally at 150 mg twice daily on a continuous schedule with an AI demonstrated a greater than 28-month median progression-free survival in patients who received initial endocrine-based therapy for metastatic disease (28.2 months [95% CI: 23.5-NR] vs 14.8 months [95% CI: 11.2-19.2] with placebo plus an AI [HR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.418-0.698, P <0.0001]).

In patients with measurable disease who received Verzenio plus an AI (n=267), an objective response rate of 55.4 percent was achieved (defined as complete response plus partial response [CR + PR], and based upon confirmed responses; PR defined as ≥30% reduction in target lesions)1 (n=148; 95% CI: 49.5-61.4), with 52.1 percent of patients having achieved a PR (n=139) and 3.4 percent having achieved a CR (n=9).2 In comparison, in the placebo-plus-AI group of patients with measurable disease (n=132), ORR was 40.2 percent (n=53; 95% CI: 31.8-48.5), with all women being partial responders. Median duration of response  was 27.4 months with Verzenio plus an AI (95% CI: 25.7-NR) versus 17.5 months with placebo plus an AI (95% CI: 11.2-22.2).

MONARCH 3 is a phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Verzenio (abemaciclib), a CDK4 & 6 inhibitor, in combination with an AI (anastrozole or letrozole), as initial endocrine-based therapy for postmenopausal women with HR+, HER2- advanced (locoregionally recurrent or metastatic) breast cancer who have had no prior systemic treatment for advanced disease.

If neoadjuvant/adjuvant endocrine therapy was administered, a disease-free interval of more than 12 months since completion of endocrine therapy was required. A total of 493 patients were randomized 2:1 to receive 150 mg of Verzenio or placebo orally twice a day, without interruption, given in combination with either 1 mg of anastrozole or 2.5 mg of letrozole once daily until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint of the study was PFS, with key secondary endpoints of ORR, DoR, overall survival and safety.

 

Yisheng’s biological product for pancreatic cancer gets Orphan Drug Designation

Yisheng Biopharma Co., Ltd., said the FDA has granted orphan drug designation for its lead immuno-oncology candidate, YS-ON-001, for pancreatic cancer. 

To date, FDA has granted YS-ON-001 two ODDs for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. YS-ON-001 is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology biologic product with unique immunomodulating mechanism and broad spectrum of anti-tumor activity.

YS-ON-001 is a clinical stage biological product based on our proprietary immunomodulating cell technology developed in-house at Yisheng Biopharma.  It is a multi-component complex with broad immunomodulating properties, such as promoting Th1-biased immunity, inducing the activation and proliferation of dendritic cell, B and natural killer cells, promoting macrophage M1 polarization and downregulating regulatory T cells.

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