Libtayo® (cemiplimab) Approved by the European Commission as the First Immunotherapy Indicated for Patients with Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. and PARIS, June 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --
- Approval based on data from the largest trial to date in patients with advanced basal cell carcinoma previously treated with a hedgehog pathway inhibitor
- Libtayo now approved by the European Commission for three advanced cancers
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) and Sanofi today announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved the PD-1 inhibitor Libtayo® (cemiplimab) to treat adults with locally advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma (BCC) who have progressed on or are intolerant to a hedgehog pathway inhibitor (HHI).
BCC is the most common type of skin cancer worldwide, representing up to 80% of non-melanoma skin cancers, and incidence is increasing across many European countries. While the large majority of BCCs are caught early and easily cured with surgery and/or radiation, a small proportion of cases can develop into advanced BCC and penetrate deeper into surrounding tissues (locally advanced) or spread to other parts of the body (metastatic), becoming more difficult to treat.
"Libtayo is the first immunotherapy to show a clinical benefit in patients with advanced BCC after HHI therapy in a pivotal trial, and with this first-in-class approval has the potential to transform treatment for patients in Europe whose cancer has progressed despite HHI treatment," said Israel Lowy, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Translational and Clinical Sciences, Oncology at Regeneron. "We look forward to continuing to investigate this medicine in additional settings, with the goal of helping more patients with difficult-to-treat cancers around the world."
Libtayo is now approved for three advanced cancers in the European Union, following the EC's concurrent approval of Libtayo for the first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumor cells have ≥50% PD-L1 expression and no EGFR, ALK or ROS1 aberrations. In 2019, Libtayo was approved by the EC as the first treatment for adults with metastatic or locally advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) who are not candidates for curative surgery or curative radiation. Across all of its approved indications, Libtayo had a generally consistent safety profile. Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue during or after treatment with Libtayo.
The EC approval in BCC is based on data from the largest prospective clinical trial (n=119) in patients with advanced BCC previously treated with an HHI to date. Libtayo-treated patients with locally advanced BCC experienced an objective response rate (ORR) of 32% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 22-43) (25% partial response, 7% complete response) by independent central review. Libtayo-treated patients with metastatic BCC demonstrated an ORR of 29% (95% CI: 15-46) (26% partial response, 3% complete response) by investigator assessment. In addition, approximately 90% of patients across both groups had a duration of response (DOR) of 6 months or longer per Kaplan Meier estimates, and the median DOR has not been reached for either group. Median duration of follow-up was 16 months for locally advanced BCC and 9 months for metastatic BCC.
Safety was assessed in 816 patients across all four Libtayo monotherapy pivotal trials in its approved indications. Adverse events were serious in 30% of patients and led to permanent discontinuation in 8% of patients. Immune–related adverse reactions occurred in 22% of patients and led to permanent discontinuation in 4% of patients. The most common immune-related adverse reactions were hypothyroidism (8%), hyperthyroidism (3%), pneumonitis (3%), hepatitis (2%), colitis (2%) and immune-related skin adverse reactions (2%).
"Since its launch in Europe just two years ago, Libtayo has redefined the standard of care for advanced CSCC and has the potential to do the same in advanced BCC," said Peter C. Adamson, M.D., Global Development Head, Oncology at Sanofi. "Together with Regeneron, we're committed to addressing gaps in the treatment of advanced forms of non-melanoma skin cancer."
About the Phase 2 Trial in Advanced BCC
The EC approval was based on data from an ongoing open-label, multi-center, non-randomized Phase 2 trial of patients with unresectable locally advanced BCC or metastatic BCC (nodal or distant). Patients in both cohorts had either progressed on HHI therapy, had not had an objective response after nine months on HHI therapy, or were intolerant of prior HHI therapy. The primary efficacy endpoint was confirmed ORR, and a key secondary endpoint was DOR, assessed by independent central review.
Libtayo is a fully human monoclonal antibody targeting the immune checkpoint receptor PD-1 on T-cells. By binding to PD-1, Libtayo has been shown to block cancer cells from using the PD-1 pathway to suppress T-cell activation.
The recommended dose of Libtayo is 350 mg administered as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every three weeks, until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Libtayo is available as a single-dose 350 mg vial. No PD-L1 or tumor mutational burden (TMB) testing is required before starting treatment with Libtayo for advanced BCC.
The extensive clinical program for Libtayo is focused on difficult-to-treat cancers. Current clinical development programs include Libtayo in combination with chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC irrespective of PD-L1 expression and Libtayo monotherapy for advanced cervical cancer. Libtayo is also being investigated in combination with either conventional or novel therapeutic approaches for other solid tumors and blood cancers. These potential uses are investigational, and their safety and efficacy have not been evaluated by any regulatory authority.
The generic name for Libtayo in its approved U.S. indications is cemiplimab-rwlc, with rwlc as the suffix designated in accordance with Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products Guidance for Industry issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Libtayo is being jointly developed by Regeneron and Sanofi under a global collaboration agreement.
About Regeneron's VelocImmune® Technology
Regeneron's VelocImmune technology utilizes a proprietary genetically engineered mouse platform endowed with a genetically humanized immune system to produce optimized fully human antibodies. When Regeneron's President and Chief Scientific Officer George D. Yancopoulos was a graduate student with his mentor Frederick W. Alt in 1985, they were the first to envision making such a genetically humanized mouse, and Regeneron has spent decades inventing and developing VelocImmune and related VelociSuite® technologies. Dr. Yancopoulos and his team have used VelocImmune technology to create approximately a quarter of all original, FDA-approved fully human monoclonal antibodies currently available. This includes REGEN–COV™ (casirivimab and imdevimab), Dupixent® (dupilumab), Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwlc), Praluent® (alirocumab), Kevzara® (sarilumab), Evkeeza® (evinacumab-dgnb) and Inmazeb™ (atoltivimab, maftivimab and odesivimab-ebgn).
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION AND INDICATION FOR U.S. PATIENTS
What is Libtayo?
Libtayo is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a type of skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) that has spread or cannot be cured by surgery or radiation.
Libtayo is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma that cannot be removed by surgery (locally advanced BCC) and have received treatment with an HHI, or cannot receive treatment with an HHI.
Libtayo is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma that has spread (metastatic BCC) and have received treatment with a hedgehog pathway inhibitor (HHI), or cannot receive treatment with an HHI. This use is approved based on how many patients responded to treatment and how long they responded. Studies are ongoing to provide additional information about clinical benefit.
Libtayo is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a type of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Libtayo may be used as your first treatment when your lung cancer has not spread outside your chest (locally advanced lung cancer) and you cannot have surgery or chemotherapy with radiation, or your lung cancer has spread to other areas of your body (metastatic lung cancer), and your tumor tests positive for high "PD-L1" and your tumor does not have an abnormal "EGFR", "ALK "or "ROS1" gene.
It is not known if Libtayo is safe and effective in children.
What is the most important information I should know about Libtayo?
Libtayo is a medicine that may treat certain cancers by working with your immune system. Libtayo can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in any area of your body and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become severe or life-threatening and can lead to death. You can have more than one of these problems at the same time. These problems may happen anytime during treatment or even after your treatment has ended.
Call or see your healthcare provider right away if you develop any new or worsening signs or symptoms, including:
- Lung problems: cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Intestinal problems: diarrhea (loose stools) or more frequent bowel movements than usual, stools that are black, tarry, sticky or have blood or mucus, or severe stomach-area (abdomen) pain or tenderness
- Liver problems: yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, severe nausea or vomiting, pain on the right side of your stomach area (abdomen), dark urine (tea colored), or bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
- Hormone gland problems: headache that will not go away or unusual headaches, eye sensitivity to light, eye problems, rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, extreme tiredness, weight gain or weight loss, feeling more hungry or thirsty than usual, urinating more often than usual, hair loss, feeling cold, constipation, your voice gets deeper, dizziness or fainting, or changes in mood or behavior, such as decreased sex drive, irritability, or forgetfulness
- Kidney problems: decrease in your amount of urine, blood in your urine, swelling of your ankles, or loss of appetite
- Skin problems: rash, itching, skin blistering or peeling, painful sores or ulcers in mouth or nose, throat, or genital area, fever or flu-like symptoms, or swollen lymph nodes
- Problems can also happen in other organs and tissues. These are not all of the signs and symptoms of immune system problems that can happen with Libtayo. Call or see your healthcare provider right away for any new or worsening signs or symptoms, which may include: chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath or swelling of ankles, confusion, sleepiness, memory problems, changes in mood or behavior, stiff neck, balance problems, tingling or numbness of the arms or legs, double vision, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, eye pain, changes in eyesight, persistent or severe muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, low red blood cells, or bruising
- Infusion reactions that can sometimes be severe. Signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include: nausea, chills or shaking, itching or rash, flushing, shortness of breath or wheezing, dizziness, feel like passing out, fever, back or neck pain, or facial swelling
- Rejection of a transplanted organ. Your healthcare provider should tell you what signs and symptoms you should report and monitor you, depending on the type of organ transplant that you have had.
- Complications, including graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), in people who have received a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant that uses donor stem cells (allogeneic). These complications can be serious and can lead to death. These complications may happen if you underwent transplantation either before or after being treated with Libtayo. Your healthcare provider will monitor you for these complications.
Getting medical treatment right away may help keep these problems from becoming more serious. Your healthcare provider will check you for these problems during your treatment with Libtayo. Your healthcare provider may treat you with corticosteroid or hormone replacement medicines. Your healthcare provider may also need to delay or completely stop treatment with Libtayo if you have severe side effects.
Before you receive Libtayo, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- have immune system problems such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus
- have received an organ transplant
- have received or plan to receive a stem cell transplant that uses donor stem cells (allogeneic)
- have a condition that affects your nervous system, such as myasthenia gravis or Guillain-Barré syndrome
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Libtayo can harm your unborn baby
Females who are able to become pregnant:
- Your healthcare provider will give you a pregnancy test before you start treatment.
- You should use an effective method of birth control during your treatment and for at least 4 months after your last dose of Libtayo. Talk with your healthcare provider about birth control methods that you can use during this time.
- Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant during treatment with Libtayo.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Libtayo passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment and for at least 4 months after the last dose of Libtayo.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over- the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
The most common side effects of Libtayo include muscle or bone pain, tiredness, rash, and diarrhea. These are not all the possible side effects of Libtayo. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi at 1-877-542-8296.
Please see full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to nine FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, almost all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite technologies, such as VelocImmune, which uses unique genetically humanized mice to produce optimized fully human antibodies and bispecific antibodies, and through ambitious research initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.
For additional information about the company, please visit www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.
Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.
With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.
Sanofi, Empowering Life
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Company Codes: NASDAQ-NMS:REGN