THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., July 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced the top-line results of a Phase 2 open-label, single-arm, multicenter trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) in adults with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The investigational study showed blinatumomab monotherapy induced a complete remission or complete remission with partial hematological recovery within two cycles of treatment in a clinically meaningful number of patients. Overall safety results from this study were consistent with the known blinatumomab safety profile.
The data will be submitted to a future medical conference and for publication.
"These top-line results are encouraging and support blinatumomab as a potential treatment option for patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome-positive B-cell precursor ALL," said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "We are hopeful that our comprehensive ALL development program for blinatumomab, the first clinical and regulatory validation of the BiTE® platform, will continue to demonstrate clinical effectiveness for patients with this serious disease."
Philadelphia chromosome-positive B-cell precursor ALL
Approximately one-fourth of adult ALL expresses the oncogenic protein BCR-ABL1 that results from the t (9;22) chromosome translocation known as the Philadelphia chromosome.
Trial Design (NCT02000427)
This study enrolled adult subjects with relapsed or refractory Ph+ B-cell precursor ALL. This was an open-label, single-arm, multicenter study consisting of a screening period, an induction treatment period (two cycles of blinatumomab), a consolidation treatment period (up to three additional cycles of blinatumomab for applicable subjects), and a safety follow-up visit 30 days after treatment. Following the safety follow-up visit, subjects were followed for response duration and survival every 3 months for 18 months or death, whichever occurred first.
About BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab)
BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) is the first bispecific CD19-directed CD3 T cell engager (BiTE®) antibody construct product, and the first single-agent immunotherapy to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative (Ph-) relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL, a rare and rapidly progressing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.1,2 Prior to approval, BLINCYTO was granted breakthrough therapy and priority review designations by the FDA. BLINCYTO has a BOXED WARNING in its product label regarding Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) and Neurological Toxicities. (Please see Important Safety Information below).
About BiTE® Technology
Bispecific T cell engager (BiTE®) antibody constructs are a type of immunotherapy being investigated for fighting cancer by helping the body's immune system to detect and target malignant cells. The modified antibodies are designed to engage two different targets simultaneously, thereby juxtaposing T cells (a type of white blood cell capable of killing other cells perceived as threats) to cancer cells. BiTE® antibody constructs help place the T cells within reach of the targeted cell, with the intent of allowing T cells to inject toxins and trigger the cancer cell to die (apoptosis). BiTE® antibody constructs are currently being investigated for their potential to treat a wide variety of cancers. For more information, visit www.biteantibodies.com.
Important U.S. Product Information
BLINCYTO® is indicated for the treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
This indication is approved under accelerated approval. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification of clinical benefit in subsequent trials.
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® as recommended.
Neurological toxicities, which may be severe, life-threatening or fatal, occurred in patients receiving BLINCYTO®. Interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as recommended.
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): Life-threatening or fatal CRS occurred in patients receiving BLINCYTO®. Infusion reactions have occurred and may be clinically indistinguishable from manifestations of CRS. Closely monitor patients for signs and symptoms of serious events such as pyrexia, headache, nausea, asthenia, hypotension, increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT), increased aspartate aminotransferase (AST), increased total bilirubin (TBILI), disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), capillary leak syndrome (CLS), and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome (HLH/MAS). Interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as outlined in the Prescribing Information (PI).
Neurological Toxicities: Approximately 50% of patients receiving BLINCYTO® in clinical trials experienced neurological toxicities. Severe, life-threatening, or fatal neurological toxicities occurred in approximately 15% of patients, including encephalopathy, convulsions, speech disorders, disturbances in consciousness, confusion and disorientation, and coordination and balance disorders. The median time to onset of any neurological toxicity was 7 days. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms and interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as outlined in the PI.
Infections: Approximately 25% of patients receiving BLINCYTO® experienced serious 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): Life-threatening or fatal TLS 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 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 are associated with BLINCYTO® treatment. The majority of these events were observed in the setting of CRS. The median time to onset was 15 days. Grade 3 or greater elevations in liver enzymes occurred in 6% of patients outside the setting of CRS and resulted in treatment discontinuation in less than 1% of patients. Monitor ALT, AST, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), 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.
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 anti-leukemic chemotherapy.
Preparation and administration errors have occurred. Follow instructions for preparation (including admixing) and administration in the PI strictly to minimize medication errors (including underdose and overdose).
The most commonly reported adverse reactions (= 20%) in clinical trials were pyrexia (62%), headache (36%), peripheral edema (26%), febrile neutropenia (26%), nausea (25%), hypokalemia (23%), rash (21%), tremor (20%) and constipation (20%).
Serious adverse reactions were reported in 65% of patients. The most common serious adverse reactions (= 2%) included febrile neutropenia, pyrexia, pneumonia, sepsis, neutropenia, device-related infection, tremor, encephalopathy, infection, overdose, confusion, Staphylococcal bacteremia, and headache.
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 full Prescribing Information and medication guide for BLINCYTO® at www.BLINCYTO.com
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 biologics manufacturing 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.
For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
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1 Mayo Clinic. "Acute lymphocytic leukemia." Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acute-lymphocytic-leukemia/basics/definition/con-20042915 Accessed on July 15, 2015.
2 BLINCYTO® US Prescribing Information.