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Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) Spiking on FDA Approval of Opdivo for Head and Neck Cancer



11/11/2016 7:06:47 AM

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Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo® (nivolumab) is the First Immuno-Oncology Treatment to Receive FDA Approval Based on Overall Survival in Head and Neck Cancer

Opdivo is the first and only Immuno-Oncology treatment proven in a Phase 3 trial to significantly extend overall survival for patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell head and neck cancer who had been previously treated with platinum-based therapy1

NCCN guidelines recently updated to include treatment with Opdivo as the only category 1 single-agent therapy for certain patients in this setting2

Opdivo has now been approved in five tumor types in under two years1

PRINCETON, N.J.--()--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Opdivo (nivolumab) injection, for intravenous use, for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy.1 Opdivo is the first and only Immuno-Oncology treatment proven in a Phase 3 trial to significantly extend overall survival (OS) for these patients.1 In oncology clinical trials, OS is considered the gold standard primary endpoint to evaluate the outcome of any therapy.3

The approval was based on results from the Phase 3, CheckMate -141 trial in which Opdivo demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful superior OS vs the comparator arm (investigator’s choice of methotrexate, docetaxel or cetuximab), with a 30% reduction in the risk of death (HR=0.70 [95% CI: 0.53-0.92; p=0.0101]).1 The median OS was 7.5 months (95% CI: 5.5-9.1) for Opdivo compared to 5.1 months (95% CI: 4.0-6.0) for investigator’s choice.1 Opdivo is associated with immune-mediated: pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis and renal dysfunction, skin adverse reactions, encephalitis, other adverse reactions; infusion reactions; and embryo-fetal toxicity. Please see the Important Safety Information section below.

With this approval in head and neck cancer, we continue to lead the field in bringing our Immuno-Oncology science and the potential for increasing survival to more people with cancer,” said Chris Boerner, Head of U.S. Commercial, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We take tremendous pride in the unprecedented speed and rigor with which we have brought Opdivo to market to address unmet needs across more tumor types than any other Immuno-Oncology treatment.”

Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) accounts for more than 90% of all head and neck cancers, and more than 50% of SCCHN patients present with Stage III or higher disease (locally advanced or metastatic), which has higher potential for progression and recurrence.4,5 The relative five-year survival rate for metastatic head and neck cancers is <38%, and can be as low as 4% for recurrent or metastatic Stage IV disease.6,7

Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that progresses on or after platinum-based therapy is a debilitating and hard-to-treat disease associated with a very poor prognosis,” said Maura Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., lead investigator, Jeg Coughlin Chair of Cancer Research, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. This latest approval for Opdivo reinforces the potential to provide patients with improved overall survival, considered the gold standard in cancer care.”

Based on a pre-planned interim analysis, CheckMate -141 was stopped early in January 2016 because an assessment conducted by the independent Data Monitoring Committee concluded the study met its primary endpoint of OS. In April 2016, the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Opdivo for recurrent or metastatic SCCHN after platinum-based therapy, underscoring the need for new treatment approaches for this disease. In October, the U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) updated its clinical practice guidelines to recommend treatment with Opdivo as the only category 1 single-agent therapy for patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy.2 Opdivo has now been approved in five tumor types in under two years.1

CheckMate -141 Confirms Superior OS in SCCHN

CheckMate -141 was a global Phase 3, open-label, randomized, trial evaluating Opdivo versus investigator’s choice of therapy in patients with recurrent or metastatic SCCHN who had tumor progression during or within six months of receiving platinum-based therapy administered in the adjuvant, neo-adjuvant, primary (unresectable locally advanced) or metastatic setting.1,8 Patients were included regardless of their HPV or PD-L1 status.1 Patients were randomized 2:1 to receive Opdivo 3 mg/kg intravenously over 60 minutes every two weeks (n=240), or investigator’s choice (n=121) of: methotrextate 40 to 60 mg/m2 intravenously weekly, docetaxel 30 to 40 mg/m2 intravenously weekly, or cetuximab 400 mg/m2 intravenously once then 250 mg/m2 weekly.1 Therapies chosen for investigator’s choice represent the most commonly used therapies in the platinum refractory setting.9,10 The primary endpoint was OS.1 The trial’s secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate (ORR).11

In the trial, Opdivo demonstrated statistically significant superior OS with a 30% reduction in the risk of death (HR=0.70 [95% CI: 0.53-0.92; p=0.0101]), and a median OS of 7.5 months (95% CI: 5.5-9.1) for Opdivo compared to 5.1 months (95% CI: 4.0-6.0) for the investigator’s choice arm.1 There were no statistically significant differences between the two arms for PFS (HR=0.89; 95% CI: 0.70, 1.13) or ORR (13.3% [95% CI: 9.3, 18.3] vs 5.8% [95% CI: 2.4, 11.6] for Opdivo and investigator’s choice, respectively.1 Data from CheckMate -141 were published in The New England Journal of Medicine in October.8

We are excited to see the continued benefits of ongoing Immuno-Oncology research from a company with a long-standing commitment to head and neck cancer like Bristol-Myers Squibb,” said Brian Hill, oral cancer survivor and founder, The Oral Cancer Foundation. “Today’s approval provides hope for the thousands of previously treated SCCHN patients and their loved ones by bringing a new treatment option that has the potential to extend lives.”

The safety profile of Opdivo in CheckMate -141 was consistent with prior studies in patients with melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer.8 Opdivo was discontinued in 14% of patients and was delayed in 24% of patients for an adverse reaction.1 Serious adverse reactions occurred in 49% of patients receiving Opdivo.1 The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in at least 2% of patients receiving Opdivo were pneumonia, dyspnea, aspiration pneumonia, respiratory failure, respiratory tract infection, and sepsis.1 Please see the Important Safety Information section below.

About Head & Neck Cancer

Cancers that are known as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck, such as inside the mouth and the throat.12 In 2016, approximately 64,000 new cases of head and neck cancer are estimated to be diagnosed in the U.S., resulting in more than 13,000 deaths.4,13,14 Head and neck cancers are more than twice as common among men as they are among women.4

Bristol-Myers Squibb & Immuno-Oncology: Advancing Oncology Research

At Bristol-Myers Squibb, we have a vision for the future of cancer care that is focused on Immuno-Oncology, now considered a major treatment modality alongside surgery, radiation and chemotherapy for certain types of cancer.

We have a comprehensive clinical portfolio of investigational and approved Immuno-Oncology agents, many of which were discovered and developed by our scientists. We pioneered the research leading to the first regulatory approval for the combination of two Immuno-Oncology agents and continue to study the role of combinations in cancer.

Our collaboration with academia as well as small and large biotech companies is responsible for researching the potential Immuno-Oncology and non-Immuno-Oncology combinations, with the goal of providing new treatment options in clinical practice.

At Bristol-Myers Squibb, we are committed to changing expectations in hard-to-treat cancers and the way patients live with cancer.

U.S. FDA APPROVED INDICATIONS FOR OPDIVO®

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) as a single agent is indicated for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on progression-free survival. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) as a single agent is indicated for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab), is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on progression-free survival. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients with EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations should have disease progression on FDA-approved therapy for these aberrations prior to receiving OPDIVO.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who have received prior anti-angiogenic therapy.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) that has relapsed or progressed after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and post-transplantation brentuximab vedotin. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: IMMUNE-MEDIATED ADVERSE REACTIONS

YERVOY can result in severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions. These immune-mediated reactions may involve any organ system; however, the most common severe immune-mediated adverse reactions are enterocolitis, hepatitis, dermatitis (including toxic epidermal necrolysis), neuropathy, and endocrinopathy. The majority of these immune-mediated reactions initially manifested during treatment; however, a minority occurred weeks to months after discontinuation of YERVOY.

Assess patients for signs and symptoms of enterocolitis, dermatitis, neuropathy, and endocrinopathy and evaluate clinical chemistries including liver function tests (LFTs), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level, and thyroid function tests at baseline and before each dose.

Permanently discontinue YERVOY and initiate systemic high-dose corticosteroid therapy for severe immune-mediated reactions.

Immune-Mediated Pneumonitis

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis. Fatal cases have been reported. Monitor patients for signs with radiographic imaging and for symptoms of pneumonitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or more severe pneumonitis. Permanently discontinue for Grade 3 or 4 and withhold until resolution for Grade 2. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, fatal cases of immune-mediated pneumonitis have occurred. Immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 3.1% (61/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 6% (25/407) of patients.

In Checkmate 205 and 039, pneumonitis, including interstitial lung disease, occurred in 4.9% (13/263) of patients receiving OPDIVO. Immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 3.4% (9/263) of patients receiving OPDIVO: Grade 3 (n=1) and Grade 2 (n=8).

Immune-Mediated Colitis

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated colitis. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of colitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 (of more than 5 days duration), 3, or 4 colitis. Withhold OPDIVO monotherapy for Grade 2 or 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 or recurrent colitis upon re-initiation of OPDIVO. When administered with YERVOY, withhold OPDIVO and YERVOY for Grade 2 and permanently discontinue for Grade 3 or 4 or recurrent colitis. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, immune-mediated colitis occurred in 2.9% (58/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, immune-mediated colitis occurred in 26% (107/407) of patients including three fatal cases.

In a separate Phase 3 study of YERVOY 3 mg/kg, severe, life-threatening, or fatal (diarrhea of =7 stools above baseline, fever, ileus, peritoneal signs; Grade 3-5) immune-mediated enterocolitis occurred in 34 (7%) patients. Across all YERVOY-treated patients in that study (n=511), 5 (1%) developed intestinal perforation, 4 (0.8%) died as a result of complications, and 26 (5%) were hospitalized for severe enterocolitis.

Immune-Mediated Hepatitis

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated hepatitis. Monitor patients for abnormal liver tests prior to and periodically during treatment. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater transaminase elevations. Withhold for Grade 2 and permanently discontinue for Grade 3 or 4 immune-mediated hepatitis. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 1.8% (35/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 13% (51/407) of patients.

In a separate Phase 3 study of YERVOY 3 mg/kg, severe, life-threatening, or fatal hepatotoxicity (AST or ALT elevations >5x the ULN or total bilirubin elevations >3x the ULN; Grade 3-5) occurred in 8 (2%) patients, with fatal hepatic failure in 0.2% and hospitalization in 0.4%.

Immune-Mediated Neuropathies

In a separate Phase 3 study of YERVOY 3 mg/kg, 1 case of fatal Guillain-Barré syndrome and 1 case of severe (Grade 3) peripheral motor neuropathy were reported.

Immune-Mediated Endocrinopathies

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated hypophysitis, immune-mediated adrenal insufficiency, autoimmune thyroid disorders, and Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of hypophysitis, signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, thyroid function prior to and periodically during treatment, and hyperglycemia. Administer hormone replacement as clinically indicated and corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater hypophysitis. Withhold for Grade 2 or 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 hypophysitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 3 or 4 adrenal insufficiency. Withhold for Grade 2 and permanently discontinue for Grade 3 or 4 adrenal insufficiency. Administer hormone-replacement therapy for hypothyroidism. Initiate medical management for control of hyperthyroidism. Withhold OPDIVO for Grade 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 hyperglycemia.

In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, hypophysitis occurred in 0.6% (12/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, hypophysitis occurred in 9% (36/407) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, adrenal insufficiency occurred in 1% (20/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, adrenal insufficiency occurred in 5% (21/407) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, hypothyroidism or thyroiditis resulting in hypothyroidism occurred in 9% (171/1994) of patients. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 2.7% (54/1994) of patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, hypothyroidism or thyroiditis resulting in hypothyroidism occurred in 22% (89/407) of patients. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 8% (34/407) of patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, diabetes occurred in 0.9% (17/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, diabetes occurred in 1.5% (6/407) of patients.

In a separate Phase 3 study of YERVOY 3 mg/kg, severe to life-threatening immune-mediated endocrinopathies (requiring hospitalization, urgent medical intervention, or interfering with activities of daily living; Grade 3-4) occurred in 9 (1.8%) patients. All 9 patients had hypopituitarism, and some had additional concomitant endocrinopathies such as adrenal insufficiency, hypogonadism, and hypothyroidism. 6 of the 9 patients were hospitalized for severe endocrinopathies.

Immune-Mediated Nephritis and Renal Dysfunction

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Monitor patients for elevated serum creatinine prior to and periodically during treatment. Administer corticosteroids for Grades 2-4 increased serum creatinine. Withhold OPDIVO for Grade 2 or 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 increased serum creatinine. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, immune-mediated nephritis and renal dysfunction occurred in 1.2% (23/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, immune-mediated nephritis and renal dysfunction occurred in 2.2% (9/407) of patients.

Immune-Mediated Skin Adverse Reactions and Dermatitis

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated rash, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), some cases with fatal outcome. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 3 or 4 rash. Withhold for Grade 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 rash. For symptoms or signs of SJS or TEN, withhold OPDIVO and refer the patient for specialized care for assessment and treatment; if confirmed, permanently discontinue. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, immune-mediated rash occurred in 9% (171/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, immune-mediated rash occurred in 22.6% (92/407) of patients.

In a separate Phase 3 study of YERVOY 3 mg/kg, severe, life-threatening, or fatal immune-mediated dermatitis (eg, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, or rash complicated by full thickness dermal ulceration, or necrotic, bullous, or hemorrhagic manifestations; Grade 3-5) occurred in 13 (2.5%) patients. 1 (0.2%) patient died as a result of toxic epidermal necrolysis. 1 additional patient required hospitalization for severe dermatitis.

Immune-Mediated Encephalitis

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated encephalitis. Evaluation of patients with neurologic symptoms may include, but not be limited to, consultation with a neurologist, brain MRI, and lumbar puncture. Withhold OPDIVO in patients with new-onset moderate to severe neurologic signs or symptoms and evaluate to rule out other causes. If other etiologies are ruled out, administer corticosteroids and permanently discontinue OPDIVO for immune-mediated encephalitis. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, encephalitis occurred in 0.2% (3/1994) of patients. Fatal limbic encephalitis occurred in one patient after 7.2 months of exposure despite discontinuation of OPDIVO and administration of corticosteroids. Encephalitis occurred in one patient receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY (0.2%) after 1.7 months of exposure.

Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions

Based on the severity of adverse reaction, permanently discontinue or withhold treatment, administer high-dose corticosteroids, and, if appropriate, initiate hormone-replacement therapy. Across clinical trials of OPDIVO the following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred in <1.0% of patients receiving OPDIVO: uveitis, iritis, pancreatitis, facial and abducens nerve paresis, demyelination, polymyalgia rheumatica, autoimmune neuropathy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, hypopituitarism, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, gastritis, duodenitis, sarcoidosis, histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (Kikuchi lymphadenitis), myositis, myocarditis, rhabdomyolysis, motor dysfunction, vasculitis, and myasthenic syndrome.

Infusion Reactions

OPDIVO can cause severe infusion reactions, which have been reported in <1.0% of patients in clinical trials. Discontinue OPDIVO in patients with Grade 3 or 4 infusion reactions. Interrupt or slow the rate of infusion in patients with Grade 1 or 2. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, infusion-related reactions occurred in 6.4% (127/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO with YERVOY, infusion-related reactions occurred in 2.5% (10/407) of patients.

Complications of Allogeneic HSCT after OPDIVO

Complications, including fatal events, occurred in patients who received allogeneic HSCT after OPDIVO. Outcomes were evaluated in 17 patients from Checkmate 205 and 039, who underwent allogeneic HSCT after discontinuing OPDIVO (15 with reduced-intensity conditioning, 2 with myeloablative conditioning). Thirty-five percent (6/17) of patients died from complications of allogeneic HSCT after OPDIVO. Five deaths occurred in the setting of severe or refractory GVHD. Grade 3 or higher acute GVHD was reported in 29% (5/17) of patients. Hyperacute GVHD was reported in 20% (n=2) of patients. A steroid-requiring febrile syndrome, without an identified infectious cause, was reported in 35% (n=6) of patients. Two cases of encephalitis were reported: Grade 3 (n=1) lymphocytic encephalitis without an identified infectious cause, and Grade 3 (n=1) suspected viral encephalitis. Hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) occurred in one patient, who received reduced-intensity conditioned allogeneic HSCT and died of GVHD and multi-organ failure. Other cases of hepatic VOD after reduced-intensity conditioned allogeneic HSCT have also been reported in patients with lymphoma who received a PD-1 receptor blocking antibody before transplantation. Cases of fatal hyperacute GVHD have also been reported. These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between PD-1 blockade and allogeneic HSCT.

Follow patients closely for early evidence of transplant-related complications such as hyperacute GVHD, severe (Grade 3 to 4) acute GVHD, steroid-requiring febrile syndrome, hepatic VOD, and other immune-mediated adverse reactions, and intervene promptly.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Based on their mechanisms of action, OPDIVO and YERVOY can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with an OPDIVO- or YERVOY- containing regimen and for at least 5 months after the last dose of OPDIVO.

Lactation

It is not known whether OPDIVO or YERVOY is present in human milk. Because many drugs, including antibodies, are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from an OPDIVO-containing regimen, advise women to discontinue breastfeeding during treatment. Advise women to discontinue nursing during treatment with YERVOY and for 3 months following the final dose.

Serious Adverse Reactions

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