THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Feb. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) today announced that the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will review data supporting the BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for the treatment of patients with minimal residual disease (MRD)-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at a meeting on March 7, 2018.
MRD refers to the presence of a small amount of detectible cancer cells that remain in the patient after treatment.
"After achieving remission, the presence of MRD is the strongest prognostic factor for relapse in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. However, today up to half of patients remain MRD-positive after induction treatments and receive limited clinical benefit from treatments like chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation as a result of failure to identify and treat this residual disease," said David M. Reese, M.D., senior vice president of Translational Sciences and Oncology at Amgen. "Currently there are no approved therapies for patients with MRD-positive ALL, representing a significant unmet need. This sBLA for BLINCYTO is the first application to ever be submitted for an MRD positive indication, and we look forward to discussing the supporting data with members of the Committee."
The Committee will review results from clinical studies in support of this potential new indication, including results from the Phase 2 BLAST study evaluating patients with B-cell precursor ALL and persistent or recurrent MRD after at least three cycles of intensive chemotherapy.
BLINCYTO is the first-and-only approved bispecific CD19-directed CD3 T cell engager (BiTE®) immunotherapy. It is also the first bispecific antibody construct from Amgen's BiTE® platform, which helps the body's immune system target cancer cells and represents an entirely new area of oncology research.
The sBLA for BLINCYTO was accepted by the FDA for priority review, and a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date of March 29, 2018 has been set.
About BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab)
BLINCYTO is a bispecific CD19-directed CD3 T cell engager (BiTE®) antibody construct that binds specifically to CD19 expressed on the surface of cells of B-lineage origin and CD3 expressed on the surface of T cells. BLINCYTO was granted breakthrough therapy and priority review designations by the FDA in 2014 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL in adults and children, and is now approved in the U.S. for this indication.
In November 2015, BLINCYTO was granted conditional marketing authorization in the European Union for the treatment of adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative (Ph-) relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL. Additional regulatory applications for BLINCYTO are underway and have been submitted to health authorities worldwide.
About the BLAST Study
The BLAST study is the largest prospective trial in patients with MRD-positive ALL. It is an open-label, multicenter, confirmatory single-arm, Phase 2 study evaluating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of BLINCYTO in adult patients with MRD-positive B-cell precursor ALL in complete hematologic remission after three or more cycles of intensive chemotherapy treatments and a presence of MRD. Patients received continuous IV infusion of 15 μg/m2/d for four weeks, followed by two weeks off. Patients received up to four cycles of treatment, or could undergo a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) at any time after the first cycle, if eligible. The primary endpoint was the rate of complete MRD response within the first treatment cycle. The key secondary endpoint was relapse-free survival at 18 months. Additional secondary endpoints include incidence and severity of adverse events, overall survival (OS), time to hematological remission and duration of complete MRD response. Results from the BLAST study were presented at the 57th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Society of Hematology in 2015.
About ALL and MRD
ALL is a rare and rapidly progressing cancer of the blood and bone marrow that occurs in both adults and children.1,2 Many adult patients with ALL relapse, often within one year of their diagnosis, from which the median survival is only 4 to 8 months.3 Poor outcomes have been observed in patients who relapse after achieving a complete response but have persistent MRD, with 5-year OS rates as high as 75 percent for patients that achieve MRD-negative status, compared with 33 percent among patients that remain MRD-positive.4 In pediatric patients, MRD-positive status after treatment is associated with a 15-times higher risk of relapse compared with those with undetectable residual disease.5
About BiTE® Technology
Bispecific T cell engager (BiTE®) antibody constructs are a type of immunotherapy being investigated for fighting cancer by helping the body's immune system to detect and target malignant cells. The modified antibodies are designed to bridge T cells to tumor cells, using the patient's own immune system to eradicate their cancer. BiTE® antibody constructs help place the T cells within reach of the targeted cell, with the intent of allowing T cells to inject toxins and trigger the cancer cell to die (apoptosis). BiTE® antibody constructs are currently being investigated for their potential to treat a wide variety of cancers. For more information, visit www.biteantibodies.com.
BLINCYTO® U.S. Product Safety Information
Indication and Important Safety Information, including Boxed WARNINGS, for BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) for injection, for intravenous use
BLINCYTO® is indicated for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adults and children.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNING: CYTOKINE RELEASE SYNDROME and NEUROLOGICAL TOXICITIES
- Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), which may be life-threatening or fatal, occurred in patients receiving BLINCYTO®. Interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as recommended.
- Neurological toxicities, which may be severe, life-threatening or fatal, occurred in patients receiving BLINCYTO®. Interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as recommended.
BLINCYTO® is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to blinatumomab or to any component of the product formulation.
Warnings and Precautions
- Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS): CRS, which may be life-threatening or fatal, occurred in patients receiving BLINCYTO®. Infusion reactions have occurred and may be clinically indistinguishable from manifestations of CRS. Closely monitor patients for signs and symptoms of serious events such as pyrexia, headache, nausea, asthenia, hypotension, increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT), increased aspartate aminotransferase (AST), increased total bilirubin (TBILI), disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), capillary leak syndrome (CLS), and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome (HLH/MAS). Interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as outlined in the Prescribing Information (PI).
- Neurological Toxicities: Approximately 65% of patients receiving BLINCYTO® in clinical trials experienced neurological toxicities. The median time to the first event was within the first 2 weeks of BLINCYTO® treatment and the majority of events resolved. The most common (≥ 10%) manifestations of neurological toxicity were headache and tremor. Severe, life-threatening, or fatal neurological toxicities occurred in approximately 13% of patients, including encephalopathy, convulsions, speech disorders, disturbances in consciousness, confusion and disorientation, and coordination and balance disorders. Manifestations of neurological toxicity included cranial nerve disorders. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms and interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as outlined in the PI.
- Infections: Approximately 25% of patients receiving BLINCYTO® experienced serious infections, some of which were life-threatening or fatal. Administer prophylactic antibiotics and employ surveillance testing as appropriate during treatment. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms of infection and treat appropriately, including interruption or discontinuation of BLINCYTO® as needed.
- Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS): TLS, which may be life-threatening or fatal, has been observed. Preventive measures, including pretreatment nontoxic cytoreduction and on-treatment hydration, should be used during BLINCYTO® treatment. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of TLS and interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® as needed to manage these events.
- Neutropenia and Febrile Neutropenia, including life-threatening cases, have been observed. Monitor appropriate laboratory parameters during BLINCYTO® infusion and interrupt BLINCYTO® if prolonged neutropenia occurs.
- Effects on Ability to Drive and Use Machines: Due to the possibility of neurological events, including seizures, patients receiving BLINCYTO® are at risk for loss of consciousness, and should be advised against driving and engaging in hazardous occupations or activities such as operating heavy or potentially dangerous machinery while BLINCYTO® is being administered.
- Elevated Liver Enzymes: Transient elevations in liver enzymes have been associated with BLINCYTO® treatment with a median time to onset of 3 days. In patients receiving BLINCYTO®, although the majority of these events were observed in the setting of CRS, some cases of elevated liver enzymes were observed outside the setting of CRS, with a median time to onset of 19 days. Grade 3 or greater elevations in liver enzymes occurred in 7% of patients outside the setting of CRS and resulted in treatment discontinuation in less than 1% of patients. Monitor ALT, AST, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), and TBILI prior to the start of and during BLINCYTO® treatment. BLINCYTO® treatment should be interrupted if transaminases rise to > 5 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) or if TBILI rises to > 3 times ULN.
- Pancreatitis: Fatal pancreatitis has been reported in patients receiving BLINCYTO® in combination with dexamethasone in clinical trials and the post-marketing setting. Evaluate patients who develop signs and symptoms of pancreatitis and interrupt or discontinue BLINCYTO® and dexamethasone as needed.
- Leukoencephalopathy: Although the clinical significance is unknown, cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes showing leukoencephalopathy have been observed in patients receiving BLINCYTO®, especially in patients previously treated with cranial irradiation and antileukemic chemotherapy.
- Preparation and administration errors have occurred with BLINCYTO® treatment. Follow instructions for preparation (including admixing) and administration in the PI strictly to minimize medication errors (including underdose and overdose).
- Immunization: Vaccination with live virus vaccines is not recommended for at least 2 weeks prior to the start of BLINCYTO® treatment, during treatment, and until immune recovery following last cycle of BLINCYTO®.
- Risk of Serious Adverse Reactions in Pediatric Patients due to Benzyl Alcohol Preservative: Serious and fatal adverse reactions including "gasping syndrome," which is characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, and gasping respirations, can occur in neonates and infants treated with benzyl alcohol-preserved drugs including BLINCYTO® (with preservative). When prescribing BLINCYTO® (with preservative) for pediatric patients, consider combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources including BLINCYTO® (with preservative) and other drugs containing benzyl alcohol. The minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which serious adverse reactions may occur is not known. Due to the addition of bacteriostatic saline, 7-day bags of BLINCYTO® solution for infusion with preservative contain benzyl alcohol and are not recommended for use in any patients weighing < 22 kg.
- The most common adverse reactions in Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL (TOWER Study) (≥ 20%) in the BLINCYTO® arm were infections (bacterial and pathogen unspecified), pyrexia, headache, infusion-related reactions, anemia, febrile neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and neutropenia. Serious adverse reactions were reported in 62% of patients. The most common serious adverse reactions (≥ 2%) included febrile neutropenia, pyrexia, sepsis, pneumonia, overdose, septic shock, CRS, bacterial sepsis, device related infection, and bacteremia.
- Adverse reactions that were observed more frequently (≥ 10%) in the pediatric population compared to the adult population were pyrexia (80% vs. 61%), hypertension (26% vs. 8%), anemia (41% vs. 24%), infusion-related reaction (49% vs. 34%), thrombocytopenia (34% vs. 21%), leukopenia (24% vs. 11%), and weight increased (17% vs. 6%).
- In pediatric patients less than 2 years old (infants), the incidence of neurologic toxicities was not significantly different than for the other age groups, but its manifestations were different; the only event terms reported were agitation, headache, insomnia, somnolence, and irritability. Infants also had an increased incidence of hypokalemia (50%) compared to other pediatric age cohorts (15-20%) or adults (17%).
Dosage and Administration Guidelines
- BLINCYTO® is administered as a continuous intravenous infusion at a constant flow rate using an infusion pump which should be programmable, lockable, non-elastomeric, and have an alarm.
- It is very important that the instructions for preparation (including admixing) and administration provided in the full Prescribing Information are strictly followed to minimize medication errors (including underdose and overdose).
Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS and Medication Guide, for BLINCYTO®.
About Amgen's Commitment to Oncology
Amgen Oncology is committed to helping patients take on some of the toughest cancers, such as those that have been resistant to drugs, those that progress rapidly through the body and those where limited treatment options exist. Amgen's supportive care treatments help patients combat certain side effects of strong chemotherapy, and our targeted medicines and immunotherapies focus on more than a dozen different malignancies, ranging from blood cancers to solid tumors. With decades of experience providing therapies for cancer patients, Amgen continues to grow its portfolio of innovative and biosimilar oncology medicines.
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 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 one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
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CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
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- Cavé H, van der Werff ten Bosch J, Suciu S, et al. Clinical Significance of Minimal Residual Disease in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. N Engl J Medicine.1998:339: 591-598.