AbbVie Announces US FDA Lifts Partial Clinical Hold on Phase 3 Study of Venetoclax in Patients with Multiple Myeloma Positive for the t(11;14) Genetic Abnormality
NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., June 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted the partial clinical hold placed on CANOVA (M13-494), a Phase 3 trial evaluating venetoclax (VENCLEXTA® OR VENCLYXTO®) for the investigational treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. The CANOVA trial evaluates venetoclax in combination with dexamethasone versus pomalidomide in combination with dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma positive for the translocation (11;14) abnormality. The t(11;14) genetic biomarker is among the most common and routinely tested genetic abnormalities in patients with multiple myeloma.1
The FDA removed the partial clinical hold based upon agreement on revisions to the CANOVA study protocol, including new risk mitigation measures, protocol-specified guidelines and updated futility criteria. Enrollment in the CANOVA trial may resume as determined by each participant site based on the approved protocol.
All other clinical trials evaluating venetoclax in patients with multiple myeloma remain on partial clinical hold while next steps continue to be evaluated with the agency. The partial clinical hold does not impact any of the approved indications for venetoclax, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AbbVie remains confident in the benefit/risk profile of venetoclax in those approved indications.
"We are pleased to move forward with the CANOVA study which, with the t(11;14) biomarker test, can help identify patients who may respond better to treatment and add clarity for physicians when choosing a therapy, if approved," said Mohamed Zaki, M.D., Ph.D., global head of hematology development, AbbVie. "We are working closely with regulatory authorities worldwide to continue our efforts to understand the potential of venetoclax for patients with multiple myeloma while continuing to advance research in patients with the t(11;14) genetic abnormality."
Results from the Phase 3 BELLINI trial evaluating patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma were presented at the 24th European Hematology Association (EHA) Annual Congress during the late-breaking oral presentation session on Sunday, June 16. Additional data will be presented at a future congress or published in a medical journal.2
In March 2019, AbbVie announced the FDA placed a partial clinical hold on all trials evaluating venetoclax for the investigational treatment of multiple myeloma, following a review of data from the Phase 3 BELLINI trial of venetoclax with bortezomib and dexamethasone (Ven + Vd) versus placebo (placebo + Vd) in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, in which a higher proportion of deaths (41/194 (21%)) was observed in the venetoclax arm compared to the control arm of the trial (11/97 (11%) — overall survival hazard ratio (HR) 2.027, 95% confidence interval (CI): [1.042, 3.945]). Progressive disease was the most common cause (45%) of death. The rates of serious adverse events (AEs) (48% vs 50%) and serious infections (28% vs 27%) were comparable between arms.2
Venetoclax is not approved by any regulatory authority, in any country for the treatment of multiple myeloma.
Despite the availability of multiple myeloma therapies, there is no optimal treatment sequence.3 Nearly all multiple myeloma patients eventually relapse, which is associated with poor outcomes, and each remission is typically shorter than the previous one.4 Patients with multiple myeloma have an average life expectancy of approximately five to six years after diagnosis.5 It is the second most common blood cancer with nearly 140,000 cases expected to be diagnosed worldwide this year.6,7
Venetoclax is being developed by AbbVie and Roche. It is jointly commercialized by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the U.S. and by AbbVie outside of the U.S.
The BELLINI trial met its primary endpoint of improved progression-free survival (PFS) (22.4 months vs. 11.5 months, [hazard ratio=0.63, p=0.01]), with a median follow-up of 18.7 months, and demonstrated statistically significant improvement in overall response rate (ORR) (82% vs. 68%, p<0.01) and very good partial or better response (59% vs. 36%, p<0.01) in the venetoclax arm compared to the control arm. Median overall survival was not reached (HR 2.027, 95% CI (1.042, 3.945)).2
Safety analyses showed the majority of deaths in the venetoclax arm were related to infection and progressive disease. There were 52 deaths in the study population, 41 (21%) in the venetoclax arm and 11 (12%) in the placebo arm, with progressive disease the most common cause (45%). The rates of serious AEs (48% vs 50%) and serious infections (28% vs 27%) were comparable between arms.2
About VENCLEXTA®/VENCLYXTO® (venetoclax)
VENCLEXTA/VENCLYXTO is being developed by AbbVie and Roche. It is jointly commercialized by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the U.S. and by AbbVie outside of the U.S. Together, the companies are committed to BCL-2 research and to studying venetoclax in clinical trials across several blood and other cancers.
VENCLEXTA/VENCLYXTO is approved in more than 50 countries, including the U.S. Venetoclax is not approved by any regulatory authority, in any country for the treatment of multiple myeloma. AbbVie, in collaboration with Roche, is currently working with regulatory agencies around the world to bring this medicine to additional eligible patients in need.
Uses and Important VENCLEXTA® (venetoclax) U.S. Safety Information10
VENCLEXTA is a prescription medicine used:
It is not known if VENCLEXTA is safe and effective in children.
Important Safety Information
What is the most important information I should know about VENCLEXTA?
VENCLEXTA can cause serious side effects, including:
Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). TLS is caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells. TLS can cause kidney failure, the need for dialysis treatment, and may lead to death. Your healthcare provider will do tests to check your risk of getting TLS before you start taking VENCLEXTA. You will receive other medicines before starting and during treatment with VENCLEXTA to help reduce your risk of TLS. You may also need to receive intravenous (IV) fluids into your vein. Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check for TLS when you first start treatment and during treatment with VENCLEXTA.
It is important to keep your appointments for blood tests. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of TLS during treatment with VENCLEXTA, including fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, confusion, shortness of breath, seizures, irregular heartbeat, dark or cloudy urine, unusual tiredness, or muscle or joint pain.
Drink plenty of water when taking VENCLEXTA to help reduce your risk of getting TLS.
Your healthcare provider may delay, decrease your dose, or stop treatment with VENCLEXTA if you have side effects.
Who should not take VENCLEXTA?
Certain medicines must not be taken when you first start taking VENCLEXTA and while your dose is being slowly increased because of the risk of increased TLS.
Before taking VENCLEXTA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
What should I avoid while taking VENCLEXTA?
What are the possible side effects of VENCLEXTA?
VENCLEXTA can cause serious side effects, including:
Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a fever or any signs of an infection during treatment with VENCLEXTA.
The most common side effects of VENCLEXTA when used in combination with obinutuzumab or rituximab or alone in people with CLL or SLL include low white blood cell counts; low platelet counts; low red blood cell counts; diarrhea; nausea; upper respiratory tract infection; cough; muscle and joint pain; tiredness; and swelling of your arms, legs, hands, and feet.
The most common side effects of VENCLEXTA in combination with azacitidine or decitabine or low-dose cytarabine in people with AML include low white blood cell counts; nausea; diarrhea; low platelet counts; constipation; fever with low white blood cell counts; low red blood cell counts; infection in blood; rash; dizziness; low blood pressure; fever; swelling of your arms, legs, hands, and feet; vomiting; tiredness; shortness of breath; bleeding; infection in lung; stomach (abdominal) pain; pain in muscles or back; cough; and sore throat.
VENCLEXTA may cause fertility problems in males. This may affect your ability to father a child. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns about fertility.
These are not all the possible side effects of VENCLEXTA. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit http://www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
If you cannot afford your medication, contact: www.pparx.org for assistance.
The full U.S. prescribing information, including Medication Guide, for VENCLEXTA can be found here. Globally, prescribing information varies; refer to the individual country product label for complete information.
Use and Important VENCLYXTO® (venetoclax) EU Safety Information11
VENCLYXTO (venetoclax) Indication
Venclyxto in combination with rituximab is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia(CLL) who have received at least one prior therapy.
Venclyxto monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of CLL:
Important VENCLYXTO (venetoclax) EU Safety Information
Special Warnings & Precautions for Use
Neutropenia (grade 3 or 4) has been reported and complete blood counts should be monitored throughout the treatment period. Serious infections including events of sepsis with fatal outcome have been reported. Supportive measures including antimicrobials for any signs of infection should be considered.
Live vaccines should not be administered during treatment or thereafter until B-cell recovery.
Avoid concomitant use of P-gp and BCRP inhibitors at initiation and during the dose titration phase.
CYP3A4 inducers may decrease VENCLYXTO plasma concentrations. Avoid coadministration with strong or moderate CYP3A inducers. These agents may decrease venetoclax plasma concentrations.
Co-administration of bile acid sequestrants with VENCLYXTO is not recommended as this may reduce the absorption of VENCLYXTO.
The most frequently occurring serious adverse reactions (>=2%) in patients receiving venetoclax in combination with rituximab or as monotherapy were pneumonia, febrile neutropenia and TLS.
Discontinuation due to adverse reactions occurred in 16% of patients receiving venetoclax plus rituximab and 9% receiving venetoclax monotherapy. Dosage adjustments due to adverse reactions occurred in 15% of patients receiving venetoclax plus rituximab and 2% receiving venetoclax monotherapy. Dose interruptions occurred in 71% of patients treated with the combination of venetoclax and rituximab.
VENCLYXTO may cause embryo-fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise nursing women to discontinue breastfeeding during treatment.
This is not a complete summary of all safety information. See VENCLYXTO full summary of product characteristics (SmPC) at www.ema.europa.eu. Globally, prescribing information varies; refer to the individual country product label for complete information.
About AbbVie in Oncology
AbbVie is a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world's most complex and critical conditions. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.
Some statements in this news release are, or may be considered, forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions, among others, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, competition from other products, challenges to intellectual property, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry. Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," of AbbVie's 2018 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AbbVie undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.
1 Anderson, K. C. (2014). Multiple myeloma: NCCN clinical practice guidelines in oncology (NCCN Guidelines®).
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