Four-week dosing now approved in all IMFINZI indications, reducing medical visits and improving patient convenience
AstraZeneca’s IMFINZI® (durvalumab) has been approved in the US for an additional dosing option, a 1,500mg fixed dose every four weeks, in the approved indications of unresectable Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after chemoradiation therapy (CRT) and previously treated advanced bladder cancer. This new option is consistent with the approved IMFINZI dosing in extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) and will be available to patients weighing more than 30kg as an alternative to the approved weight-based dosing of 10mg/kg every two weeks.
The approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was based on data from several IMFINZI clinical trials, including the PACIFIC Phase III trial which supported the two-week, weight-based dosing in unresectable Stage III NSCLC, and the CASPIAN Phase III trial which used four-week, fixed-dosing during maintenance treatment in ES-SCLC. The decision follows the Priority Review granted by the FDA in August 2020.
Victoria M. Villaflor, MD, Clinical Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research at City of Hope Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California, said: “This new four-week dosing option gives doctors the choice to cut the number of visits for critical cancer treatment in half and offers a regimen that is more convenient for patients. Additionally, it limits potential exposure to infection in the healthcare environment for a population that is especially vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.”
Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, said: “The approval of this new dosing option across indications reflects our ongoing commitment to improve the patient experience and ensure continuity of care - a priority at all times, but especially during the pandemic. Cancer won’t wait, and it is our job to provide patients with treatment options that acknowledge the challenges the pandemic poses to cancer care, enabling them to visit their physician when truly needed and avoid preventable exposure to healthcare-associated infections.”
The four-week 1,500mg fixed-dosing option for IMFINZI is also under regulatory review in several other countries, including in the EU where the new dosing option was granted accelerated assessment.
IMFINZI is approved in the curative-intent setting of unresectable, Stage III NSCLC after CRT in the US, in the EU, in Japan, in China and in many other countries, based on the PACIFIC Phase III trial. IMFINZI is also approved for previously treated patients with advanced bladder cancer in the US and several other countries. Additionally, it is approved in the US, the EU, Japan and several other countries around the world for the treatment of ES-SCLC based on the CASPIAN Phase III trial.
Important Safety Information
There are no contraindications for IMFINZI® (durvalumab).
Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
Important immune-mediated adverse reactions listed under Warnings and Precautions may not include all possible severe and fatal immune-mediated reactions. Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue. Immune-mediated adverse reactions can occur at any time after starting treatment or after discontinuation. Monitor patients closely for symptoms and signs that may be clinical manifestations of underlying immune-mediated adverse reactions. Evaluate liver enzymes, creatinine, and thyroid function at baseline and periodically during treatment. In cases of suspected immune-mediated adverse reactions, initiate appropriate workup to exclude alternative etiologies, including infection. Institute medical management promptly, including specialty consultation as appropriate. Withhold or permanently discontinue IMFINZI depending on severity. See Dosing and Administration for specific details. In general, if IMFINZI requires interruption or discontinuation, administer systemic corticosteroid therapy (1 mg to 2 mg/kg/day prednisone or equivalent) until improvement to Grade 1 or less. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Consider administration of other systemic immunosuppressants in patients whose immune-mediated adverse reactions are not controlled with corticosteroid therapy.
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis. The incidence of pneumonitis is higher in patients who have received prior thoracic radiation. In patients who did not receive recent prior radiation, the incidence of immune-mediated pneumonitis was 2.0% (28/1414), including fatal (<0.1%), and Grade 3-4 (0.4%) adverse reactions. In patients who received recent prior radiation, the incidence of pneumonitis (including radiation pneumonitis) in patients with unresectable Stage III NSCLC following definitive chemoradiation within 42 days prior to initiation of IMFINZI in PACIFIC was 16.6% (79/475) in patients receiving IMFINZI and 13.2% (31/234) in patients receiving placebo. Of the 79 patients who received IMFINZI, 1.1% were fatal and 2.5% were Grade 3-4 adverse reactions. The frequency and severity of immune-mediated pneumonitis in patients who did not receive definitive chemoradiation prior to IMFINZI were similar in patients who received IMFINZI as a single agent or with ES-SCLC when in combination with chemotherapy.
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated colitis that is frequently associated with diarrhea. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection/reactivation has been reported in patients with corticosteroid-refractory immune-mediated colitis. In cases of corticosteroid-refractory colitis, consider repeating infectious workup to exclude alternative etiologies. Immune-mediated colitis occurred in 1.6% (31/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 4 (0.1%) and Grade 3 (0.3%) adverse reactions.
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated hepatitis. Immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 1.0% (19/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including fatal (<0.1%) and Grade 3 (0.6%) adverse reactions.
- Adrenal Insufficiency: IMFINZI can cause primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency. For Grade 2 or higher adrenal insufficiency, initiate symptomatic treatment, including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Immune-mediated adrenal insufficiency occurred in 0.4% (7/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (<0.1%) adverse reactions.
- Hypophysitis: IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated hypophysitis. Hypophysitis can present with acute symptoms associated with mass effect such as headache, photophobia, or visual field cuts. Hypophysitis can cause hypopituitarism. Initiate symptomatic treatment including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Grade 3 hypophysitis/hypopituitarism occurred in <0.1% (1/1889) of patients who received IMFINZI.
- Thyroid Disorders: IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated thyroid disorders. Thyroiditis can present with or without endocrinopathy. Hypothyroidism can follow hyperthyroidism. Initiate hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism or institute medical management of hyperthyroidism as clinically indicated.
- Thyroiditis: Immune-mediated thyroiditis occurred in 0.4% (7/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI.
- Hyperthyroidism: Immune-mediated hyperthyroidism occurred in 1.4% (27/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI.
- Hypothyroidism: Immune-mediated hypothyroidism occurred in 7.3% (137/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (<0.1%) adverse reactions.
- Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, which can present with diabetic ketoacidosis: Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of diabetes. Initiate treatment with insulin as clinically indicated. Grade 3 immune-mediated type 1 diabetes mellitus occurred in <0.1% (1/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI.
Immune-Mediated Nephritis with Renal Dysfunction
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Immune-mediated nephritis occurred in 0.3% (5/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (0.1%) adverse reactions.
Immune-Mediated Dermatology Reactions
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated rash or dermatitis. Exfoliative dermatitis, including Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), have occurred with PD-1/L-1 blocking antibodies. Topical emollients and/or topical corticosteroids may be adequate to treat mild to moderate non-exfoliative rashes. Immune-mediated rash or dermatitis occurred in 1.6% (30/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (0.4%) adverse reactions.
Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
The following clinically significant, immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred at an incidence of less than 1% each in patients who received IMFINZI or were reported with the use of other PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies.
- Cardiac/vascular: Myocarditis, pericarditis, vasculitis.
- Nervous system: Meningitis, encephalitis, myelitis and demyelination, myasthenic syndrome/myasthenia gravis (including exacerbation), Guillain-Barré syndrome, nerve paresis, autoimmune neuropathy.
- Ocular: Uveitis, iritis, and other ocular inflammatory toxicities can occur. Some cases can be associated with retinal detachment. Various grades of visual impairment to include blindness can occur. If uveitis occurs in combination with other immune-mediated adverse reactions, consider a Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome, as this may require treatment with systemic steroids to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.
- Gastrointestinal: Pancreatitis including increases in serum amylase and lipase levels, gastritis, duodenitis.
- Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: Myositis/polymyositis, rhabdomyolysis and associated sequelae including renal failure, arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatic.
- Endocrine: Hypoparathyroidism
- Other (hematologic/immune): Hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (Kikuchi lymphadenitis), sarcoidosis, immune thrombocytopenia, solid organ transplant rejection.
IMFINZI can cause severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions. Monitor for signs and symptoms of infusion-related reactions. Interrupt, slow the rate of, or permanently discontinue IMFINZI based on the severity. See Dosing and Administration for specific details. For Grade 1 or 2 infusion-related reactions, consider using pre-medications with subsequent doses. Infusion-related reactions occurred in 2.2% (42/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (0.3%) adverse reactions.
Complications of Allogeneic HSCT after IMFINZI
Fatal and other serious complications can occur in patients who receive allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) before or after being treated with a PD-1/L-1 blocking antibody. Transplant-related complications include hyperacute graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after reduced intensity conditioning, and steroid-requiring febrile syndrome (without an identified infectious cause). These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between PD-1/L-1 blockade and allogeneic HSCT. Follow patients closely for evidence of transplant-related complications and intervene promptly. Consider the benefit versus risks of treatment with a PD-1/L-1 blocking antibody prior to or after an allogeneic HSCT.
Based on its mechanism of action and data from animal studies, IMFINZI 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 IMFINZI and for at least 3 months after the last dose of IMFINZI.
There is no information regarding the presence of IMFINZI in human milk; however, because of the potential for adverse reactions in breastfed infants from IMFINZI, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose.
- In patients with UC in Study 1108 (n=182), the most common adverse reactions (≥15%) were fatigue (39%), musculoskeletal pain (24%), constipation (21%), decreased appetite (19%), nausea (16%), peripheral edema (15%), and urinary tract infection (15%). The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥3%) were fatigue, urinary tract infection, musculoskeletal pain, abdominal pain, dehydration, and general physical health deterioration
- In patients with UC in Study 1108, discontinuation due to adverse reactions occurred in 3.3% of patients. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 46% of patients. The most frequent serious adverse reactions (>2%) were acute kidney injury (4.9%), urinary tract infection (4.4%), musculoskeletal pain (4.4%), liver injury (3.3%), general physical health deterioration (3.3%), sepsis, abdominal pain, and pyrexia/tumor associated fever (2.7% each)
- In patients with Stage III NSCLC in the PACIFIC study receiving IMFINZI (n=475), the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were cough (40%), fatigue (34%), pneumonitis or radiation pneumonitis (34%), upper respiratory tract infections (26%), dyspnea (25%), and rash (23%). The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥3%) were pneumonitis/radiation pneumonitis (3.4%) and pneumonia (7%)
- In patients with Stage III NSCLC in the PACIFIC study receiving IMFINZI (n=475), discontinuation due to adverse reactions occurred in 15% of patients in the IMFINZI arm. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 29% of patients receiving IMFINZI. The most frequent serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were pneumonitis or radiation pneumonitis (7%) and pneumonia (6%). Fatal pneumonitis or radiation pneumonitis and fatal pneumonia occurred in <2% of patients and were similar across arms
- In patients with extensive-stage SCLC in the CASPIAN study receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy (n=265), the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were nausea, fatigue/asthenia, and alopecia. The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reaction (≥3%) was fatigue/asthenia (3.4%)
- In patients with extensive-stage SCLC in the CASPIAN study receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy (n=265), IMFINZI was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 7% of the patients receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 31% of patients receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in at least 1% of patients were febrile neutropenia (4.5%), pneumonia (2.3%), anemia (1.9%), pancytopenia (1.5%), pneumonitis (1.1%), and COPD (1.1%). Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 4.9% of patients receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy
The safety and effectiveness of IMFINZI have not been established in pediatric patients.
IMFINZI is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who:
- Have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy.
- Have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.
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 confirmatory trials.
IMFINZI is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has not progressed following concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
IMFINZI, in combination with etoposide and either carboplatin or cisplatin, is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC).
Please see complete Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.
About Stage III NSCLC
Stage III NSCLC (locally advanced) is commonly divided into three sub-categories (IIIA, IIIB and IIIC), defined by how much the cancer has spread locally and the possibility of surgery.1 Stage III disease is different from Stage IV disease, where the cancer has spread (metastasized), as the majority of Stage III patients are currently treated with curative intent.1,2
Stage III NSCLC represents approximately one third of NSCLC incidence and in 2015 was estimated to affect nearly 200,000 patients in the following eight large countries: China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, and the US, with approximately 43,000 cases in the US alone.3,4 The majority of Stage III NSCLC patients are diagnosed with unresectable tumors.5 Prior to approval of IMFINZI in this setting, no new treatments beyond CRT had been available to patients for decades.6-8
About Small cell lung cancer
SCLC is a highly aggressive, fast-growing form of lung cancer that typically recurs and progresses rapidly, despite initial response to chemotherapy.9,10 About two thirds of SCLC patients are diagnosed with extensive-stage disease, in which the cancer has spread widely through the lung or to other parts of the body.11 Prognosis is particularly poor, as only 6% of all SCLC patients will be alive five years after diagnosis.11
About Bladder cancer
This year, an estimated 81,400 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with bladder cancer.12 Locally advanced and metastatic bladder cancer remains an area of unmet medical need and typically only one in seven patients is alive five years after diagnosis.13 Urothelial cancer (UC) is the most common form of bladder cancer.14 Urothelial cancer (UC) is the most common form of bladder cancer. 9 Bladder cancer is projected to cause an estimated 17,980 cancer deaths in the US this year.12,15 PD-L1 is widely expressed in tumor and immune cells in patients with bladder cancer and helps tumors evade detection from the immune system.16
About IMFINZI® (durvalumab)
IMFINZI is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to PD-L1 and blocks the interaction of PD-L1 with PD-1 and CD80, countering the tumor's immune-evading tactics and releasing the inhibition of immune responses.
As part of a broad development program, IMFINZI is also being tested as a monotherapy and in combinations including with tremelimumab, an anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody and potential new medicine, as a treatment for patients with NSCLC, SCLC, bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, liver cancer, biliary tract cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and other solid tumors.
About AstraZeneca Support Programs
AstraZeneca strives to ensure that appropriate patients and their oncologists have access to IMFINZI and relevant support resources. These include educational resources, an Oncology Nurse Educator program and affordability and reimbursement programs, such as Access 360™.
Additionally, AstraZeneca has launched Lighthouse, a program that provides support to patients during any immune-mediated adverse events they may encounter during treatment, through medically trained Lighthouse Advocates. The program aims to make patients’ treatment experience as comfortable as possible. Find out more about Lighthouse at LighthouseProgram.com or call 1-855-LHOUSE1(1-855-546-8731).
About AstraZeneca in lung cancer
AstraZeneca has a comprehensive portfolio of approved and potential new medicines in late-stage development for the treatment of different forms of lung cancer spanning different histologies, several stages of disease, lines of therapy and modes of action.
An extensive Immuno-Oncology (IO) development program focuses on lung cancer patients without a targetable genetic mutation, which represent up to three-quarters of all patients with lung cancer.17 IMFINZI, an anti-PDL1 antibody, is in development for patients with advanced disease (POSEIDON and PEARL Phase III trials) and for patients in earlier stages of disease, including potentially-curative settings (MERMAID-1, AEGEAN, ADJUVANT BR.31, PACIFIC-2, PACIFIC-4, PACIFIC-5, and ADRIATIC Phase III trials) both as monotherapy and in combination with tremelimumab and/or chemotherapy.
IMFINZI is also in development in the Phase II trials NeoCOAST, COAST and HUDSON in combination with potential new medicines from the early-stage pipeline, including Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan).
About AstraZeneca’s approach to IO
IO is a therapeutic approach designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack tumors. The Company’s IO portfolio is anchored by immunotherapies that have been designed to overcome anti-tumor immune suppression. AstraZeneca is invested in using IO approaches that deliver long-term survival for new groups of patients across tumor types.
The Company is pursuing a comprehensive clinical-trial program that includes IMFINZI as a monotherapy and in combination with tremelimumab in multiple tumor types, stages of disease, and lines of therapy, and where relevant using the PD-L1 biomarker as a decision-making tool to define the best potential treatment path for a patient. In addition, the ability to combine the IO portfolio with radiation, chemotherapy, small targeted molecules from across AstraZeneca’s Oncology pipeline, and from research partners, may provide new treatment options across a broad range of tumors.
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 seven new medicines launched between 2014 and 2020, and a broad pipeline of small molecules and biologics in development, the Company is committed to advance oncology as a key growth driver for AstraZeneca focused on lung, ovarian, breast and blood cancers.
By harnessing the power of six scientific platforms – Immuno-Oncology, Tumor Drivers and Resistance, DNA Damage Response, Antibody Drug Conjugates, Epigenetics, and Cell Therapies – 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 therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory & Immunology. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit astrazeneca-us.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.
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11. Cancer.Net. Lung Cancer - Small Cell. Available at https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/lung-cancer-small-cell. Accessed November 2020.
12. ASCO. Cancer.net. Bladder Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/bladder-cancer/statistics. Accessed August 2020.
13. Von der Maase H, et al. Long-Term Survival Results of a Randomized Trial Comparing Gemcitabine Plus Cisplatin, with Methotrexate, Vinblastine, Doxorubicin, Plus Cisplatin in Patients with Bladder Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2005;23:4602-4608.
14. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Bladder Cancer: Introduction. Available at https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/bladder-cancer/introduction. Accessed September 2020.
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