WHIPPANY, N.J. and THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary (Nasdaq: AMGN), today announced that The Lancet published online results from the Phase 3 DECISION trial which demonstrated that NEXAVAR® (sorafenib) tablets significantly extended the time patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, differentiated thyroid carcinoma that is refractory to radioactive iodine treatment lived without their disease worsening (progression-free survival; PFS).
Based on these data, NEXAVAR was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2013 for patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, differentiated thyroid carcinoma refractory to radioactive iodine treatment. These patients previously had limited approved treatment options.
"The Lancet publication will give healthcare providers greater insight into the DECISION trial. While the majority of differentiated thyroid cancers are treatable, patients who are no longer responding to standard therapies - including surgery and radioactive iodine - are more difficult to treat and have limited options," said Marcia Brose, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of the DECISION trial and Assistant Professor in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery in the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "The DECISION trial demonstrates the activity of sorafenib for this type of differentiated thyroid cancer in patients with this challenging tumor."
About the DECISION Trial
The DECISION (stuDy of sorafEnib in loCally advanced or metastatIc patientS with radioactive Iodine refractory thyrOid caNcer) trial was an international, multicenter, placebo-controlled study that evaluated 417 patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive differentiated thyroid carcinoma refractory to radioactive iodine treatment. The primary endpoint of the study was progression-free survival (PFS), or the length of time patients lived without their thyroid cancer worsening, and was evaluated by an independent radiological review using modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (mRECIST). Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), tumor response rate, and duration of response. Safety and tolerability were also evaluated.
Results were presented in a plenary session at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in June 2013.
Median PFS was 10.8 months (95% CI 9.1-12.9) among patients treated with NEXAVAR, compared to 5.8 months (95% CI 5.3-7.8) among patients receiving placebo (HR=0.59 [95% CI, 0.46, 0.76]; p<0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in overall survival (HR= 0.80 [95% CI, 0.54–1.19]; p=0.14), a secondary endpoint of the trial. Following investigator-determined disease progression, 157 (75%) patients randomized to placebo crossed over to open-label NEXAVAR, and 61 (30%) patients randomized to NEXAVAR received open-label NEXAVAR.
Safety and tolerability were also evaluated. The most common adverse reactions reported for NEXAVAR-treated patients vs. placebo-treated patients in DTC, respectively, were: Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (PPES) (69% vs. 8%), diarrhea (68% vs. 15%), alopecia (67% vs. 8%), weight loss (49% vs. 14%), fatigue (41% vs. 20%), hypertension (41% vs. 12%), rash (35% vs. 7%), decreased appetite (30% vs. 5%), stomatitis (24% vs. 3%), nausea (21% vs. 12%), pruritus (20% vs. 11%), and abdominal pain (20% vs. 7%). Grade 3/4 adverse reactions were 65% vs. 30%. Drug-related adverse reactions that resulted in treatment discontinuation were reported in 14% of NEXAVAR-treated patients compared to 1.4% of placebo-treated patients.
About Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer has become one of the fastest-increasing cancers in recent years and is the sixth most common cancer in women.i,ii There are nearly 300,000 new cases of thyroid cancer annually and approximately 40,000 people die from thyroid cancer worldwide each year.iii
Papillary, follicular and Hürthle cell types of thyroid cancer are classified as "differentiated thyroid cancer" and account for approximately 94 percent of all thyroid cancers.iv While the majority of differentiated thyroid cancers are treatable, locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, differentiated thyroid carcinoma refractory to radioactive iodine treatment is more difficult to treat.iv,v
About NEXAVAR® (sorafenib) Tablets
NEXAVAR is approved in the U.S. for the treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma and patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, differentiated thyroid carcinoma refractory to radioactive iodine treatment. NEXAVAR is thought to inhibit both the tumor cell and tumor vasculature. In in vitro studies, NEXAVAR has been shown to inhibit multiple kinases thought to be involved in both cell proliferation (growth) and angiogenesis (blood supply) – two important processes that enable cancer growth. These kinases include Raf kinase, VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3, PDGFR-B, KIT, FLT-3 and RET.
NEXAVAR is currently approved in more than 100 countries. NEXAVAR is also being evaluated by Bayer and Onyx, international study groups, government agencies and individual investigators in a range of cancers.
NEXAVAR is co-developed by Onyx and Bayer, except in Japan where Bayer manages all development. The companies co-promote NEXAVAR in the U.S. Outside of the U.S. Bayer has exclusive marketing rights, and Bayer and Onyx share profits globally, excluding Japan.
Important Safety Considerations For NEXAVAR® (sorafenib) Tablets
NEXAVAR in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel is contraindicated in patients with squamous cell lung cancer.
Cardiac ischemia and/or myocardial infarction may occur. The incidence of cardiac ischemia/infarction in NEXAVAR-treated vs. placebo-treated patients was 2.7% vs. 1.3%, 2.9% vs. 0.4%, and 1.9% vs. 0% in the HCC, RCC, and DTC studies, respectively. Temporary or permanent discontinuation of NEXAVAR should be considered in patients who develop cardiac ischemia and/or myocardial infarction.
An increased risk of bleeding may occur following NEXAVAR administration. The following bleeding adverse reactions were reported in the NEXAVAR-treated vs. placebo-treated patients, respectively, in the HCC study: bleeding from esophageal varices (2.4% vs. 4%) and bleeding with fatal outcome at any site (2.4% vs. 4%); in the RCC study: bleeding regardless of causality (15.3% vs. 8.2%), Grade 3 bleeding (2.0% vs. 1.3%), Grade 4 bleeding (0% vs. 0.2%), and one fatal hemorrhage in each treatment group; in the DTC study: bleeding (17.4% vs. 9.6%) and Grade 3 bleeding (1% vs. 1.4%). If bleeding necessitates medical intervention, consider permanent discontinuation of NEXAVAR.
Hypertension may occur early in the course of treatment. Monitor blood pressure weekly during the first 6 weeks and periodically thereafter, and treat, if required.
Hand-foot skin reaction and rash are common and management may include topical therapies for symptomatic relief. In cases of any severe or persistent adverse reactions, temporary treatment interruption, dose modification, or permanent discontinuation of NEXAVAR should be considered. NEXAVAR should be discontinued if Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis are suspected as these may be life-threatening.
Gastrointestinal perforation was an uncommon adverse reaction and has been reported in less than 1% of patients taking NEXAVAR. Discontinue NEXAVAR in the event of a gastrointestinal perforation.
Patients taking concomitant warfarin should be monitored regularly for changes in prothrombin time (PT), International Normalized Ratio (INR), or clinical bleeding episodes.
Temporary interruption of NEXAVAR therapy is recommended in patients undergoing major surgical procedures.
NEXAVAR, in combination with gemcitabine/cisplatin, is not recommended in patients with squamous cell lung cancer. The safety and effectiveness of NEXAVAR has not been established in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
NEXAVAR can prolong the QT/QTc interval and increase the risk for ventricular arrhythmias. Avoid use in patients with congenital long QT syndrome and monitor patients with congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, drugs known to prolong the QT interval, and electrolyte abnormalities. Interrupt NEXAVAR if QTc interval is greater than 500 milliseconds or for an increase from baseline of 60 milliseconds or greater.
Drug-induced hepatitis with NEXAVAR may result in hepatic failure and death. Liver function tests should be monitored regularly and in cases of increased transaminases without alternative explanation NEXAVAR should be discontinued.
NEXAVAR may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Women of child-bearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while on NEXAVAR and female patients should also be advised against breastfeeding while receiving NEXAVAR.
In DTC, NEXAVAR impairs exogenous thyroid suppression. Elevation of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level above 0.5 mU/L was observed in 41% of NEXAVAR-treated patients as compared with 16% of placebo-treated patients in the DTC study. Monitor TSH levels monthly and adjust thyroid replacement medication as needed in patients with DTC.
Elevations in serum lipase and reductions in serum phosphate of unknown etiology have been associated with NEXAVAR.
Avoid concomitant use of strong CYP3A4 inducers, when possible, because inducers can decrease the systemic exposure of sorafenib. NEXAVAR exposure decreases when co-administered with oral neomycin. Effects of other antibiotics on NEXAVAR pharmacokinetics have not been studied.
Most common adverse reactions reported for NEXAVAR-treated patients vs. placebo-treated patients in unresectable HCC, respectively, were: diarrhea (55% vs. 25%), fatigue (46% vs. 45%), abdominal pain (31% vs. 26%), weight loss (30% vs. 10%), anorexia (29% vs. 18%), nausea (24% vs. 20%), and hand-foot skin reaction (21% vs. 3%). Grade 3/4 adverse reactions were 45% vs. 32%.
Most common adverse reactions reported for NEXAVAR-treated patients vs. placebo-treated patients in advanced RCC, respectively, were: diarrhea (43% vs. 13%), rash/desquamation (40% vs. 16%), fatigue (37% vs. 28%), hand-foot skin reaction (30% vs. 7%), alopecia (27% vs. 3%), and nausea (23% vs. 19%). Grade 3/4 adverse reactions were 38% vs. 28%.
Most common adverse reactions reported for NEXAVAR-treated patients vs. placebo-treated patients in DTC, respectively, were: Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (PPES) (69% vs. 8%), diarrhea (68% vs. 15%), alopecia (67% vs. 8%), weight loss (49% vs. 14%), fatigue (41% vs. 20%), hypertension (41% vs. 12%), rash (35% vs. 7%), decreased appetite (30% vs. 5%), stomatitis (24% vs. 3%), nausea (21% vs. 12%), pruritus (20% vs. 11%), and abdominal pain (20% vs. 7%). Grade 3/4 adverse reactions were 65% vs. 30%.
For information about NEXAVAR including U.S. NEXAVAR prescribing information, visit www.NEXAVAR-us.com or call 1.866.NEXAVAR (1.866.639.2827).
About Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals business of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Bayer AG. Bayer HealthCare is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry, and combines the activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. As a specialty pharmaceutical company, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. provides products for General Medicine, Hematology, Neurology, Oncology and Women's Healthcare. The company's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.
About Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Based in South San Francisco, California, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary, is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for improving the lives of people with cancer. The company is focused on developing novel medicines that target key molecular pathways. For more information about Onyx, visit the company's website at www.onyx.com. Onyx Pharmaceuticals is on Twitter. Sign up to follow our Twitter feed @OnyxPharm at http://twitter.com/OnyxPharm.
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 the world's largest independent biotechnology company, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
Forward Looking Statements
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The scientific information discussed in this news release relating to new indications for Amgen's products is preliminary and investigative and is not part of the labeling approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the products. The products are not approved for the investigational use(s) discussed in this news release, and no conclusions can or should be drawn regarding the safety or effectiveness of the products for these uses.
NEXAVAR® is a registered trademark of Bayer.
*Editor's note: Dr. Brose has received consulting fees and honoraria from Bayer HealthCare and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.
i Raghunandan Venkat and Marlon A. Guerrero, "Recent Advances in the Surgical Treatment of Differentiated Thyroid Cancer: A Comprehensive Review," The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2013. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2013/425136/. Accessed September 25, 2013.
ii Brown RL, de Souza JA, Cohen EEW. Thyroid Cancer: Burden of Illness and Management of Disease. J Cancer 2011; 2:193-199. http://www.jcancer.org/v02p0193.htm. Accessed September 25, 2013.
iii World Health Organization: GLOBOCAN 2012. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide in 2012. http://globocan.iarc.fr/Pages/fact_sheets_population.aspx. Accessed March 13, 2014.
iv Naifa Lamki Busaidy and Maria E. Cabanillas, "Differentiated Thyroid Cancer: Management of Patients with Radioiodine Nonresponsive Disease." Journal of Thyroid Research Volume 2012. Article ID 618985.
v Lucia Brilli, Furio Pacini. Future Oncology. Targeted Therapy in Refractory Thyroid Cancer. 2011;7(5):657-668.
SOURCE Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.