Home / Oncology / Bayer’s Stivarga Becomes First Compound Used in Clinical Trial Platform to Investigate New Therapies for Brain Cancer

Bayer’s Stivarga Becomes First Compound Used in Clinical Trial Platform to Investigate New Therapies for Brain Cancer

WHIPPANY, N.J., June 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Bayer announced today that the Stivarga® (regorafenib) arm of the platform trial GBM AGILE (Glioblastoma Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment) has opened enrollment for patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma, the most aggressive and common form of primary brain cancer.1 The opening of the first clinical trial site, at Henry Ford Cancer Insititute in Detroit, marks the start of the international clinical trial program sponsored by the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR). Bayer’s Stivarga will be the first drug to be evaluated in this trial.

Glioblastoma treatment options and patient outcomes have remained largely unchanged over several decades.1 Ninety-five percent of patients die within five years of diagnosis and more than half die within the first 15 months after diagnosis.1

“GBM is an aggressive brain tumor with few effective therapies. We are excited to open GBM AGILE and test new treatment options for our patients, who so desperately need them,” said Tom Mikkelsen, M.D. of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute and medical director of Precision Medicine and Clinical Trials at Henry Ford Health System.

Bayer will provide drug supply and support the clinical trial at sites enrolling patients in the Stivarga arm. By the end of 2019, GBM AGILE will open in over 40 academic medical centers and community-based institutions across the United States, with plans to expand across Europe, China, Canada, and Australia through 2020.

“We are excited that the regorafenib arm of the GBM AGILE trial is the first to enroll patients and are looking forward to seeing how regorafenib can potentially help these patients in need of treatment options,” said Scott Z. Fields, M.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology Development at Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division. “Bayer actively supports the clinical research of regorafenib in a range of different tumor types to explore the potential of this drug to help even more patients in need.”

About Stivarga® (regorafenib)2

In April 2017, Stivarga was approved for use in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who have been previously treated with Nexavar® (sorafenib). In the United States, Stivarga is also indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) who have been previously treated with fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based chemotherapy, an anti-VEGF therapy, and, if RAS wild-type, an anti-EGFR therapy. It is also indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) who have been previously treated with imatinib mesylate and sunitinib malate.

Stivarga® is approved in more than 90 countries.

Regorafenib is a compound developed by Bayer. In 2011, Bayer entered into an agreement with Onyx, now an Amgen subsidiary, under which Onyx receives a royalty on all global net sales of regorafenib in oncology.

Important Safety Information for Stivarga2

WARNING: HEPATOTOXICITY

 

– Severe and sometimes fatal hepatotoxicity has occurred in clinical trials.

 

– Monitor hepatic function prior to and during treatment.

 

– Interrupt and then reduce or discontinue STIVARGA for hepatotoxicity as

manifested by elevated liver function tests or hepatocellular necrosis, depending

upon severity and persistence.

 

 

Hepatotoxicity: Severe drug-induced liver injury with fatal outcome occurred in STIVARGA-treated patients across all clinical trials. In most cases, liver dysfunction occurred within the first 2 months of therapy and was characterized by a hepatocellular pattern of injury. In metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), fatal hepatic failure occurred in 1.6% of patients in the STIVARGA arm and in 0.4% of patients in the placebo arm. In gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), fatal hepatic failure occurred in 0.8% of patients in the STIVARGA arm. In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), there was no increase in the incidence of fatal hepatic failure as compared to placebo.

Liver Function Monitoring: Obtain liver function tests (ALT, AST, and bilirubin) before initiation of STIVARGA and monitor at least every 2 weeks during the first 2 months of treatment. Thereafter, monitor monthly or more frequently as clinically indicated. Monitor liver function tests weekly in patients experiencing elevated liver function tests until improvement to less than 3 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) or baseline values. Temporarily hold and then reduce or permanently discontinue STIVARGA, depending on the severity and persistence of hepatotoxicity as manifested by elevated liver function tests or hepatocellular necrosis.

Infections: STIVARGA caused an increased risk of infections. The overall incidence of infection (Grades 1-5) was higher (32% vs 17%) in 1142 STIVARGA-treated patients as compared to the control arm in randomized placebo-controlled trials. The incidence of grade 3 or greater infections in STIVARGA treated patients was 9%. The most common infections were urinary tract infections (5.7%), nasopharyngitis (4.0%), mucocutaneous and systemic fungal infections (3.3%) and pneumonia (2.6%). Fatal outcomes caused by infection occurred more often in patients treated with STIVARGA (1.0%) as compared to patients receiving placebo (0.3%); the most common fatal infections were respiratory (0.6% vs 0.2%). Withhold STIVARGA for Grade 3 or 4 infections, or worsening infection of any grade. Resume STIVARGA at the same dose following resolution of infection.

Hemorrhage: STIVARGA caused an increased incidence of hemorrhage. The overall incidence (Grades 1-5) was 18.2% in 1142 patients treated with STIVARGA vs 9.5% with placebo in randomized, placebo-controlled trials. The incidence of grade 3 or greater hemorrhage in patients treated with STIVARGA was 3.0%. The incidence of fatal hemorrhagic events was 0.7%, involving the central nervous system or the respiratory, gastrointestinal, or genitourinary tracts. Permanently discontinue STIVARGA in patients with severe or life-threatening hemorrhage and monitor INR levels more frequently in patients receiving warfarin.

Gastrointestinal Perforation or Fistula: Gastrointestinal perforation occurred in 0.6% of 4518 patients treated with STIVARGA across all clinical trials of STIVARGA administered as a single agent; this included eight fatal events. Gastrointestinal fistula occurred in 0.8% of patients treated with STIVARGA and in 0.2% of patients in the placebo arm across randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Permanently discontinue STIVARGA in patients who develop gastrointestinal perforation or fistula.

Dermatological Toxicity: In randomized, placebo-controlled trials, adverse skin reactions occurred in 71.9% of patients with STIVARGA arm and 25.5% of patients in the placebo arm including hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR) also known as palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (PPES) and severe rash, requiring dose modification. In the randomized, placebo-controlled trials, the overall incidence of HFSR was higher in 1142 STIVARGA-treated patients (53% vs 8%) than in the placebo-treated patients. Most cases of HFSR in STIVARGA-treated patients appeared during the first cycle of treatment. The incidences of Grade 3 HFSR (16% vs <1%), Grade 3 rash (3% vs <1%), serious adverse reactions of erythema multiforme (<0.1% vs 0%), and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (<0.1% vs 0%) were higher in STIVARGA-treated patients. Across all trials, a higher incidence of HFSR was observed in Asian patients treated with STIVARGA (all grades: 72%; Grade 3:18%). Toxic epidermal necrolysis occurred in 0.02% of 4518 STIVARGA-treated patients across all clinical trials of STIVARGA administered as a single agent. Withhold STIVARGA, reduce the dose, or permanently discontinue depending on the severity and persistence of dermatologic toxicity.

Hypertension: Hypertensive crisis occurred in 0.2% in STIVARGA-treated patients and in none of the patients in placebo arm across all randomized, placebo-controlled trials. STIVARGA caused an increased incidence of hypertension (30% vs 8% in mCRC, 59% vs 27% in GIST, and 31% vs 6% in HCC). The onset of hypertension occurred during the first cycle of treatment in most patients who developed hypertension (67% in randomized, placebo-controlled trials). Do not initiate STIVARGA until blood pressure is adequately controlled. Monitor blood pressure weekly for the first 6 weeks of treatment and then every cycle, or more frequently, as clinically indicated. Temporarily or permanently withhold STIVARGA for severe or uncontrolled hypertension.

Cardiac Ischemia and Infarction: STIVARGA increased the incidence of myocardial ischemia and infarction (0.9% with STIVARGA vs 0.2% with placebo) in randomized placebo-controlled trials. Withhold STIVARGA in patients who develop new or acute cardiac ischemia or infarction, and resume only after resolution of acute cardiac ischemic events if the potential benefits outweigh the risks of further cardiac ischemia.

Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS): Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS), a syndrome of subcortial vasogenic edema diagnosed by characteristic finding on MRI occurred in one of 4800 STIVARGA-treated patients across all clinical trials. Perform an evaluation for RPLS in any patient presenting with seizures, severe headache, visual disturbances, confusion, or altered mental function. Discontinue STIVARGA in patients who develop RPLS.

Wound Healing Complications: Treatment with STIVARGA should be stopped at least 2 weeks prior to scheduled surgery. Resuming treatment after surgery should be based on clinical judgment of adequate wound healing. STIVARGA should be discontinued in patients with wound dehiscence.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: STIVARGA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. There are no available data on STIVARGA use in pregnant women. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential and males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with STIVARGA and for 2 months after the final dose.

Nursing Mothers: Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants from STIVARGA, do not breastfeed during treatment with STIVARGA and for 2 weeks after the final dose.

Most Frequently Observed Adverse Drug Reactions in mCRC (≥30%): The most frequently observed adverse drug reactions (≥30%) in STIVARGA-treated patients vs placebo-treated patients in mCRC, respectively, were: asthenia/fatigue (64% vs 46%), pain (59% vs 48%), decreased appetite and food intake (47% vs 28%), HFSR/PPE (45% vs 7%), diarrhea (43% vs 17%), mucositis (33% vs 5%), weight loss (32% vs 10%), infection (31% vs 17%), hypertension (30% vs 8%), and dysphonia (30% vs 6%).

Most Frequently Observed Adverse Drug Reactions in GIST (≥30%): The most frequently observed adverse drug reactions (≥30%) in STIVARGA-treated patients vs placebo-treated patients in GIST, respectively, were: HFSR/PPE (67% vs 12%), pain (60% vs 55%), hypertension (59% vs 27%), asthenia/fatigue (52% vs 39%), diarrhea (47% vs 9%), mucositis (40% vs 8%), dysphonia (39% vs 9%), infection (32% vs 5%), decreased appetite and food intake (31% vs 21%), and rash (30% vs 3%).

Most Frequently Observed Adverse Drug Reactions in HCC (≥30%): The most frequently observed adverse drug reactions (≥30%) in STIVARGA-treated patients vs placebo-treated patients in HCC, respectively, were: pain (55% vs 44%), HFSR/PPE (51% vs 7%), asthenia/fatigue (42% vs 33%), diarrhea (41% vs 15%), hypertension (31% vs 6%), infection (31% vs 18%), decreased appetite and food intake (31% vs 15%).

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning for Stivarga (regorafenib).

About Oncology at Bayer

Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The oncology franchise at Bayer includes five marketed products and several other assets in various stages of clinical development. Together, these products reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way that cancer is treated.

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.

About the GBM AGILE trial

GBM AGILE is an international, innovative platform trial designed to more rapidly identify effective therapies for patients with glioblastoma through response adaptive randomization and a seamless Phase II/III design. The trial will be conducted under a master protocol, allowing multiple therapies or combinations of therapies from different pharmaceutical partners to be evaluated simultaneously. Experimental treatments will be added to or dropped from the trial over time. The trial design and infrastructure constitute a more efficient approach to testing new therapies for GBM, thus bringing new potentially beneficial treatments to patients sooner. While GBM AGILE will evaluate multiple investigational drugs over the course of the trial, it will begin with the inclusion of regorafenib arm in 2019 led by Principal Investigators, Dr. Patrick Wen of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School and Dr. Andrew Lassman of the Department of Neurology and Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center.

About the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR)

The Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, comprised of some of the world’s foremost physicians, clinical researchers and investigators united in expediting the discovery and development of cures for patients with rare and deadly diseases. As its first priority, GCAR is sponsoring GBM AGILE, an adaptive platform trial for patients with GBM – the most common and deadliest of malignant primary brain tumors. Key strategic partners for the GBM AGILE Trial effort include the National Brain Tumor Society, National Foundation for Cancer Research, and Asian Fund for Cancer Research, three nonprofit organizations that are working together to provide philanthropic support as well as assistance in communicating with patients and families and inviting all others to join in supporting this innovating approach to brain tumor treatment development. It is GCAR’s vision to expand and replicate what is learned using this innovative model for GBM to benefit patients with other rare and deadly diseases. To learn more about GCAR, visit the website at: www.gcaresearch.org or follow @GCAResearch and www.facebook.com/GCAResearch

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

© 2019 Bayer

BAYER, the Bayer Cross and Stivarga are registered trademarks of Bayer.

References

  1. Global Coalition for Adaptive Research. GBM AGILE: The Clinical Trial of the Future. https://www.gcaresearch.org/gbm-agile/. Accessed June 2019.
  2. Stivarga® (Regorafenib) tablets [Prescribing Information]. Whippany, NJ: Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, June 2018.

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