Third Breakthrough Therapy Designation for ENHERTU
AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited’s (Daiichi Sankyo) ENHERTU® (fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki) has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) in the US for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have a HER2 mutation and with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy.
NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, and prognosis is particularly poor for patients with metastatic disease as only about 6-10% will be alive five years after diagnosis. Approximately 2-4% of patients with NSCLC have a HER2 mutation.
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) BTD is designed to accelerate the development and regulatory review of potential new medicines that are intended to treat a serious condition and address a significant unmet medical need. The new medicine needs to have shown encouraging early clinical results that demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint over available medicines.
José Baselga, Executive Vice President, R&D Oncology, said: “Today’s news is very welcome as we continue to evaluate the potential of ENHERTU to help patients with this devastating type of lung cancer. Targeted treatments and immunotherapies are demonstrating tremendous advancements, but there remains an unmet medical need for patients with HER2 mutations who are not benefiting from such therapies or for those whose cancer continues to progress.”
Gilles Gallant, Senior Vice President, Global Head, Oncology Development, Oncology R&D, Daiichi Sankyo, said: “We are encouraged by the promising evidence of activity seen with ENHERTU in patients with advanced lung cancer and a HER2 mutation. We look forward to working closely with the FDA on the potential for ENHERTU to become the first HER2-directed therapy approved for non-small cell lung cancer.”
The FDA granted BTD based on data from the ongoing Phase II DESTINY-Lung01 trial currently testing ENHERTU, a HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate (ADC), in patients with HER2-mutant (HER2m) metastatic NSCLC, and data from the Phase I trial published in Cancer Discovery.
An interim analysis from DESTINY-Lung01will be presented during the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO20) Virtual Scientific Program, May 29-31, 2020.
The overall safety and tolerability profile of ENHERTU in the ongoing DESTINY-Lung01 trial is consistent with that seen in the phase 1 trial. The most common adverse events to date (n=42) are gastrointestinal and hematological including nausea, alopecia, anemia, decreased appetite and decreased neutrophil count. There have been five cases of drug-related interstitial lung disease (ILD) and pneumonitis in patients with HER2 mutant NSCLC, all of which were grade 2. There have been no ILD-related deaths.
This is the third BTD granted for ENHERTU in the U.S. Last week, ENHERTU received BTD in patients with HER2-positive unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma who have received two or more prior regimens including trastuzumab.
ENHERTU recently received accelerated approval in the U.S. and approval in Japan under the early conditional approval system for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer who have received two or more prior anti-HER2 based regimens.
U.S. FDA-Approved Indication for ENHERTU
ENHERTU is a HER2-directed antibody and topoisomerase inhibitor conjugate indicated for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received two or more prior anti-HER2-based regimens in the metastatic setting.
This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNING: INTERSTITIAL LUNG DISEASE and EMBRYO-FETAL TOXICITY
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Interstitial Lung Disease / Pneumonitis
Severe, life-threatening, or fatal interstitial lung disease (ILD), including pneumonitis, can occur in patients treated with ENHERTU. In clinical studies, of the 234 patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer treated with ENHERTU, ILD occurred in 9% of patients. Fatal outcomes due to ILD and/or pneumonitis occurred in 2.6% of patients treated with ENHERTU. Median time to first onset was 4.1 months (range: 1.2 to 8.3).
Advise patients to immediately report cough, dyspnea, fever, and/or any new or worsening respiratory symptoms. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of ILD. Promptly investigate evidence of ILD. Evaluate patients with suspected ILD by radiographic imaging. Consider consultation with a pulmonologist. For asymptomatic ILD/pneumonitis (Grade 1), interrupt ENHERTU until resolved to Grade 0, then if resolved in ≤28 days from date of onset, maintain dose. If resolved in >28 days from date of onset, reduce dose one level. Consider corticosteroid treatment as soon as ILD/pneumonitis is suspected (e.g., ≥0.5 mg/kg prednisolone or equivalent). For symptomatic ILD/pneumonitis (Grade 2 or greater), permanently discontinue ENHERTU. Promptly initiate corticosteroid treatment as soon as ILD/pneumonitis is suspected (e.g., ≥1 mg/kg prednisolone or equivalent). Upon improvement, follow by gradual taper (e.g., 4 weeks).
Severe neutropenia, including febrile neutropenia, can occur in patients treated with ENHERTU. Of the 234 patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who received ENHERTU, a decrease in neutrophil count was reported in 30% of patients and 16% had Grade 3 or 4 events. Median time to first onset was 1.4 months (range: 0.3 to 18.2). Febrile neutropenia was reported in 1.7% of patients.
Monitor complete blood counts prior to initiation of ENHERTU and prior to each dose, and as clinically indicated. Based on the severity of neutropenia, ENHERTU may require dose interruption or reduction. For Grade 3 neutropenia (Absolute Neutrophil Count [ANC] <1.0 to 0.5 x 109/L) interrupt ENHERTU until resolved to Grade 2 or less, then maintain dose. For Grade 4 neutropenia (ANC <0.5 x 109/L) interrupt ENHERTU until resolved to Grade 2 or less. Reduce dose by one level. For febrile neutropenia (ANC <1.0 x 109/L and temperature >38.3ºC or a sustained temperature of ≥38ºC for more than 1 hour), interrupt ENHERTU until resolved. Reduce dose by one level.
Left Ventricular Dysfunction
Patients treated with ENHERTU may be at increased risk of developing left ventricular dysfunction. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) decrease has been observed with anti-HER2 therapies, including ENHERTU. In the 234 patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who received ENHERTU, two cases (0.9%) of asymptomatic LVEF decrease were reported. Treatment with ENHERTU has not been studied in patients with a history of clinically significant cardiac disease or LVEF <50% prior to initiation of treatment.
Assess LVEF prior to initiation of ENHERTU and at regular intervals during treatment as clinically indicated. Manage LVEF decrease through treatment interruption. Permanently discontinue ENHERTU if LVEF of <40% or absolute decrease from baseline of >20% is confirmed. When LVEF is >45% and absolute decrease from baseline is 10-20%, continue treatment with ENHERTU. When LVEF is 40-45% and absolute decrease from baseline is <10%, continue treatment with ENHERTU and repeat LVEF assessment within 3 weeks. When LVEF is 40-45% and absolute decrease from baseline is 10-20%, interrupt ENHERTU and repeat LVEF assessment within 3 weeks. If LVEF has not recovered to within 10% from baseline, permanently discontinue ENHERTU. If LVEF recovers to within 10% from baseline, resume treatment with ENHERTU at the same dose. When LVEF is <40% or absolute decrease from baseline is >20%, interrupt ENHERTU and repeat LVEF assessment within 3 weeks. If LVEF of <40% or absolute decrease from baseline of >20% is confirmed, permanently discontinue ENHERTU. Permanently discontinue ENHERTU in patients with symptomatic congestive heart failure.
ENHERTU can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise patients of the potential risks to a fetus. Verify the pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to the initiation of ENHERTU. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 7 months following the last dose of ENHERTU. Advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with ENHERTU and for at least 4 months after the last dose of ENHERTU.
The safety of ENHERTU was evaluated in a pooled analysis of 234 patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who received at least one dose of ENHERTU 5.4 mg/kg in DESTINY-Breast01 and Study DS8201-A-J101. ENHERTU was administered by intravenous infusion once every three weeks. The median duration of treatment was 7 months (range: 0.7 to 31).
Serious adverse reactions occurred in 20% of patients receiving ENHERTU. Serious adverse reactions in >1% of patients who received ENHERTU were interstitial lung disease, pneumonia, vomiting, nausea, cellulitis, hypokalemia, and intestinal obstruction. Fatalities due to adverse reactions occurred in 4.3% of patients including interstitial lung disease (2.6%), and the following events occurred in one patient each (0.4%): acute hepatic failure/acute kidney injury, general physical health deterioration, pneumonia, and hemorrhagic shock.
ENHERTU was permanently discontinued in 9% of patients, of which ILD accounted for 6%. Dose interruptions due to adverse reactions occurred in 33% of patients treated with ENHERTU. The most frequent adverse reactions (>2%) associated with dose interruption were neutropenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, upper respiratory tract infection, fatigue, nausea, and ILD. Dose reductions occurred in 18% of patients treated with ENHERTU. The most frequent adverse reactions (>2%) associated with dose reduction were fatigue, nausea, and neutropenia.
The most common adverse reactions (frequency ≥20%) were nausea (79%), fatigue (59%), vomiting (47%), alopecia (46%), constipation (35%), decreased appetite (32%), anemia (31%), neutropenia (29%), diarrhea (29%), leukopenia (22%), cough (20%), and thrombocytopenia (20%).
Use in Specific Populations
- Pregnancy: ENHERTU can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise patients of the potential risks to a fetus. There are clinical considerations if ENHERTU is used in pregnant women, or if a patient becomes pregnant within 7 months following the last dose of ENHERTU.
- Lactation: There are no data regarding the presence of ENHERTU in human milk, the effects on the breastfed child, or the effects on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in a breastfed child, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with ENHERTU and for 7 months after the last dose.
- Females and Males of Reproductive Potential: Pregnancy testing: Verify pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to initiation of ENHERTU. Contraception: Females: ENHERTU can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with ENHERTU and for at least 7 months following the last dose. Males: Advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with ENHERTU and for at least 4 months following the last dose. Infertility: ENHERTU may impair male reproductive function and fertility.
- Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness of ENHERTU have not been established in pediatric patients.
- Geriatric Use: Of the 234 patients with HER2-positive breast cancer treated with ENHERTU 5.4 mg/kg, 26% were ≥65 years and 5% were ≥75 years. No overall differences in efficacy were observed between patients ≥65 years of age compared to younger patients. There was a higher incidence of Grade 3-4 adverse reactions observed in patients aged ≥65 years (53%) as compared to younger patients (42%).
- Hepatic Impairment: In patients with moderate hepatic impairment, due to potentially increased exposure, closely monitor for increased toxicities related to the topoisomerase inhibitor.
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. at 1-877-437-7763 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or fda.gov/medwatch.
NOTES TO EDITORS
In some tumors, HER2 overexpression is associated with a specific HER2 gene alteration known as amplification and is often associated with aggressive disease and poorer prognosis.
Other HER2 gene alterations (called HER2 mutations) have been identified in NSCLC, specifically adenocarcinomas, as distinct molecular targets. Approximately 2-4% of patients with NSCLC have HER2 mutations, which have been independently associated with cancer cell growth and poor prognosis.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women and accounts for about one-fifth of all cancer deaths. In the US, it is estimated that 228,820 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in 2020 and more than 135,000 people will die from the disease.
Lung cancer is broadly split into NSCLC and SCLC, with 80-85% classified as NSCLC. Within NSCLC, patients are classified as squamous, representing 25-30% of patients, or non-squamous, the most common type representing approximately 70-75% of NSCLC patients. Stage IV is the most advanced form of lung cancer and is often referred to as metastatic disease. For these patients with metastatic disease, prognosis is particularly poor, as only 6-10% will be alive five years after diagnosis. The introduction of targeted therapies and checkpoint inhibitors in recent years has improved outcomes for patients with advanced NSCLC; however, new approaches are needed for those who are not eligible for available treatments, or whose cancer continues to progress. Currently, no medicine is specifically approved for patients with HER2-mutant NSCLC.
DESTINY-Lung01 is a global, Phase II, open-label, multicenter, two-cohort trial assessing the safety and efficacy of ENHERTU in 170 patients with HER2-mutant (n=90) or HER2-overexpressing, defined as IHC 3+ or IHC 2+, (n=80) unresectable and metastatic non-squamous NSCLC whose cancer has progressed after one or more systemic therapies (including chemotherapy, molecular targeted therapy or immunotherapy). The primary endpoint is ORR. Key secondary endpoints include duration of response, disease control rate, progression-free survival and overall survival.
ENHERTU (fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki in the US only) is a HER2-directed ADC and is the lead ADC in the oncology portfolio of Daiichi Sankyo and the most advanced program in AstraZeneca’s ADC scientific platform. ADCs are targeted cancer medicines that deliver cytotoxic chemotherapy (“payload”) to cancer cells via a linker attached to a monoclonal antibody that binds to a specific target expressed on cancer cells.
ENHERTU Clinical Development
A comprehensive development program is underway globally with six registrational trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of ENHERTU monotherapy across multiple HER2-driven cancers including breast, gastric and lung cancers. Trials in combination with other anticancer treatments, such as immunotherapy, are also underway.
Collaboration between AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo
In March 2019, AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo entered into a global collaboration to jointly develop and commercialize ENHERTU worldwide, except in Japan where Daiichi Sankyo maintains exclusive rights. Daiichi Sankyo is solely responsible for manufacturing and supply.
About AstraZeneca in Oncology
AstraZeneca has a deep-rooted heritage in Oncology and offers a quickly-growing portfolio of new medicines that has the potential to transform patients’ lives and the Company’s future. With at least six new medicines to be launched between 2014 and 2020, and a broad pipeline of small molecules and biologics in development, we are committed to advance Oncology as a key growth driver for AstraZeneca focused on lung, ovarian, breast and blood cancers. In addition to our core capabilities, we actively pursue innovative partnerships and investments that accelerate the delivery of our strategy, as illustrated by our investment in Acerta Pharma in hematology.
By harnessing the power of four scientific platforms – Immuno-Oncology, Tumor Drivers and Resistance, DNA Damage Response and Antibody Drug Conjugates – and by championing the development of personalized combinations, AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer treatment and one day eliminate cancer as a cause of death.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three main therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory and Immunology. The Company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.
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