Voluntary Withdrawal of IMFINZI Indication in Advanced Bladder Cancer in the US
AstraZeneca today announced the voluntary withdrawal of the IMFINZI® (durvalumab) indication in the US for previously treated adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer. This decision was made in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In May 2017, IMFINZI was granted accelerated approval in the US based on promising tumor response rates and duration of response data from Study 1108, a Phase I/II trial that evaluated the safety and efficacy of IMFINZI in advanced solid tumors, including previously treated bladder cancer. Continued approval was contingent on results from the DANUBE Phase III trial in the 1st-line metastatic bladder cancer setting, which did not meet its primary endpoints in 2020. The withdrawal is aligned with FDA guidance for evaluating indications with accelerated approvals that did not meet post-marketing requirements, as part of a broader industry-wide evaluation. This withdrawal does not impact the indication outside the US and does not impact other approved IMFINZI indications within or outside the US.
Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, said: “The science of immunotherapy has moved swiftly over the past few years, bringing new options to patients at an unprecedented pace. While the withdrawal in previously treated metastatic bladder cancer is disappointing, we respect the principles FDA set out when the accelerated approval pathway was founded and remain committed to bringing new and innovative options to patients. In the last three years, IMFINZI has become an important standard of care in multiple lung cancer settings, an area of considerable focus for AstraZeneca.”
Healthcare providers are being notified of this update. Patients with metastatic bladder cancer currently being treated with IMFINZI should consult with their healthcare provider regarding their ongoing care.
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 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 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 bladder cancer
This year, an estimated 83,730 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with bladder cancer.1 Locally advanced and metastatic bladder cancer remains an area of unmet medical need, approximately 69% of patients with locally advanced disease are alive five years after diagnosis and approximately 5% of patients with metastatic disease are alive five years after diagnosis.2 Urothelial cancer (UC) is the most common form of bladder cancer. 3 Bladder cancer is projected to cause an estimated 17,200 cancer deaths in the US this year.1 PD-L1 is widely expressed in tumor and immune cells in patients with bladder cancer and helps tumors evade detection from the immune system.4
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.5
IMFINZI is approved in the curative-intent setting of unresectable, Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after chemoradiation therapy in the US, Japan, China, across the EU 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 several other countries. Additionally, it is approved in the US, the EU, Japan and other countries for extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC).
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.6
In bladder cancer, AstraZeneca has several Phase III trials testing IMFINZI in various treatment combinations across early- and late-stage settings including the NILE Phase III trial in metastatic disease, the NIAGARA Phase III trial in muscle invasive disease and the POTOMAC Phase III trial in non-muscle invasive disease. 6
Tremelimumab is a human monoclonal antibody and potential new medicine that targets the activity of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4). Tremelimumab blocks the activity of CTLA-4, contributing to T cell activation, priming the immune response to cancer and fostering cancer cell death. Tremelimumab is being tested in a clinical trial program in combination with IMFINZI® (durvalumab) in NSCLC, SCLC, bladder cancer, head and neck cancer and liver cancer.
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 1-855-LHOUSE1(1-855-546-8731).
About AstraZeneca’s approach to Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy (IO) is a therapeutic approach designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack tumors. AstraZeneca’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.
AstraZeneca 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, AstraZeneca 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 (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) 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. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.
1. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Bladder Cancer: Statistics. Available at: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/bladder-cancer/statistics. Accessed February 2021.
2. SEER Cancer Statistics Review. Available at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/urinb.html. Accessed February 2021.
3. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Bladder Cancer: Introduction. Available at https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/bladder-cancer/introduction. Accessed February 2021.
4. Magdalene J, et al. Joseph M, et al. Immune Responses in Bladder Cancer-Role of Immune Cell Populations, Prognostic Factors and Therapeutic Implications. Front Oncol. 2019;9:1270.
5. AstraZeneca. IMFINZI Prescribing Information. Available at: https://www.azpicentral.com/imfinzi/imfinzi.pdf#page=1. Accessed February 2021.
6. AstraZeneca. Clinical Trial Appendix: Year-to-Date and Q3 2020 Results Update. Available at: https://www.astrazeneca.com/content/dam/az/PDF/2020/q3/Year-to-date_and_Q3_2020_results_clinical_trials_appendix.pdf. Accessed February 2021
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