RIDGEFIELD, Conn., Feb. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Ingelheim today announced the initiation of a Phase II trial of afatinib (Gilotrif®) in combination with pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) of the lung.
Benjamin Levy, M.D., Clinical Director, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine at Sibley Memorial Hospital Washington DC, said, "Given the complexity of tumors and their ability to evade immune destruction, combination approaches rooted in both clinical and scientific rationale are desperately needed. Bringing together two drugs, afatinib and pembrolizumab, which have each demonstrated meaningful activity and survival advantages in advanced stage squamous cell lung cancer patients, is an attractive strategy that needs to be further investigated as a treatment combination. The potential synergy in these agents will hopefully advance care and therapeutic options for this group of patients."
Afatinib is approved in the U.S. (Gilotrif®), EU (Giotrif®) and other markets in patients with advanced SqCC of the lung whose disease has progressed on or after (EU label) / after (U.S. label) treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy.
Pembrolizumab is approved in the U.S., EU, Japan and other markets for the treatment of previously-untreated patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have high PD-L1 expression (tumor proportion score (TPS) >50%) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations. Pembrolizumab is also indicated for the treatment of previously-treated patients with metastatic NSCLC whose tumors express PD-L1 (TPS ≥1%) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy.
The trial is being conducted in collaboration with a subsidiary of Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) and the combination of afatinib and pembrolizumab studied in this trial is currently not an approved treatment regimen in the studied indication.
"This collaboration will provide invaluable information about the use of afatinib and pembrolizumab in combination to treat squamous cell carcinoma of the lung," said Martina Flammer, M.D., Vice President, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs Specialty Care, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "Furthermore, the trial underscores our commitment to continually investigate novel approaches for cancer treatment."
The Phase II trial will include approximately 60 patients who have progressed or relapsed on or after prior platinum-based chemotherapy, and who have not previously received therapy with an anti-PD-1 therapy or PD-L1/L2 antibody, or other checkpoint inhibitor or anti-EGFR targeted therapy. The trial aims to measure the decrease in tumor size (primary endpoint: objective response rate) and will confirm the dose of afatinib in combination with the standard dose of pembrolizumab, as well as the tolerability of this new regimen. In addition, it will evaluate anti-tumor activity in terms of disease control, duration of response, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS).
SqCC of the lung is the second largest sub-type of NSCLC and represents approximately 20-30% of NSCLC cases. Patients with advanced SqCC of the lung typically have a poor prognosis and the median overall survival after diagnosis is around one year.
What is GILOTRIF?
GILOTRIF is a prescription medicine used to treat people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC):
- that has certain types of abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes. Your doctor will perform a test to check for certain types of abnormal EGFR genes, and make sure that GILOTRIF is right for you. GILOTRIF may be used when you have not had previous treatment for cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is not known if GILOTRIF is safe and effective in treating lung cancer with other abnormal EGFR genes.
- that is squamous type and has spread to other parts of the body after you have tried chemotherapy that contains platinum.
It is not known if GILOTRIF is safe and effective in children.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION ABOUT GILOTRIF
Before you take GILOTRIF, tell your doctor if you:
- have kidney or liver problems
- have lung or breathing problems other than lung cancer
- have a history of severe dry eye or any other eye problems. Tell your doctor if you wear contact lenses.
- have heart problems
- have any other medical conditions
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. GILOTRIF can harm your unborn baby. You should not become pregnant while taking GILOTRIF.
- Women who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with GILOTRIF and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose of GILOTRIF. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that may be right for you.
- Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant while taking GILOTRIF.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if GILOTRIF passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed while taking GILOTRIF and for 2 weeks after your last dose of GILOTRIF. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take GILOTRIF.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. GILOTRIF may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect the way GILOTRIF works.
What to avoid while taking GILOTRIF
Limit your time in the sun. GILOTRIF can make your skin sensitive to the sun. You could get or have worsening rash or acne. You could get a severe sunburn. Use sunscreen and wear a hat and clothes that cover your skin while you are taking GILOTRIF if you have to be in sunlight.
GILOTRIF may cause serious side effects, including:
- Diarrhea. Diarrhea is common with GILOTRIF and may sometimes be severe. Severe diarrhea can cause loss of body fluid (dehydration) and kidney problems that can sometimes lead to death. During your treatment with GILOTRIF, your doctor should prescribe medicines to treat diarrhea. Take this medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to. Tell your doctor if you have diarrhea. Get medical attention right away if your diarrhea does not go away or becomes severe.
- Skin reactions. GILOTRIF can cause redness, rash, and acne. It is important to get treatment for skin reactions as soon as you notice them. Take medicines to help skin reactions exactly as your doctor tells you to. Get medical attention right away if you develop severe skin reactions such as peeling or blistering of the skin, or blisters in your mouth.
- Lung or breathing problems. GILOTRIF may cause inflammation of the lung that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening lung problems, or any combination of the following symptoms: trouble breathing or shortness of breath, cough, or fever.
- Liver problems. GILOTRIF can cause liver problems that can sometimes lead to death. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of a liver problem which may include:
- yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes (jaundice)
- dark or brown (tea-colored) urine
- pain on the upper right side of your stomach area (abdomen)
- bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
- feeling very tired
Your doctor will do blood tests to check your liver function during your treatment with GILOTRIF.
- Eye problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of eye problems. Symptoms may include:
- eye pain, swelling, redness, or tearing
- blurred vision
- sensitivity to light
- other changes in your vision
- Heart problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of a heart problem which may include:
- new or worsening shortness of breath while at rest or with activity
- swelling of your ankles, feet, or legs
- feeling that your heart is pounding or racing (palpitations)
- sudden weight gain
The most common side effects of GILOTRIF include diarrhea, rash, mouth sores, nail inflammation, dry skin, acne, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, itching.
GILOTRIF may cause decreased fertility in females and males. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your fertility.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all of the possible side effects of GILOTRIF. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please see the full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.
GF CONS ISI APRIL 2016
About Boehringer Ingelheim in Oncology
Boehringer Ingelheim's oncology research is driven by a passion to advance clinical practice and a determination to improve the lives of patients who are battling cancer. Through our own scientific innovation and partnerships, we are focused on discovering and providing novel best-in-class, breakthrough cancer medications that fit the needs of patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. We have a clear strategy to become a leader in the field of lung cancer. Boehringer Ingelheim has successfully launched two products globally for NSCLC that have been widely adopted and established as valuable additions to current clinical practice. Continuous insights and learnings from research and development are key parts of innovation and our way forward to advance clinical practice in lung cancer and other cancer types.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation.
Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, the company operates globally with 145 affiliates and about 50,000 employees. Since its founding in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel treatments for human and veterinary medicine.
Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving lives and providing valuable services and support to patients and their families. Our employees create and engage in programs that strengthen our communities. To learn more about how we make more health for more people, visit our Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
In 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about $15.8 billion (14.8 billion euros). R&D expenditure corresponds to 20.3 percent of its net sales.
Pembrolizumab is marketed by Merck & Co. under the brand name KEYTRUDA®.
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