NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., May 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the Phase 3 iLLUMINATE (PCYC-1130) trial met its primary endpoint of improvement in progression-free survival (PFS). The study evaluated IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) in combination with GAZYVA® (obinutuzumab) in previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) patients, the most common adult leukemia. Specifically, the study met its primary endpoint for a clinically and statistically significant difference in PFS for patients treated with IMBRUVICA plus obinutuzumab versus those who received chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab, as assessed by an Independent Review Committee (IRC).
IMBRUVICA is a first-in-class Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor jointly developed and commercialized by Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company, and Janssen Biotech, Inc. IMBRUVICA has been available in the U.S. since November 2013 and is U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for treatment in six disease indications. IMBRUVICA has the longest follow-up data as a BTK therapy in CLL.1
Pharmacyclics and Janssen are sharing the primary analysis data from the study with regulatory authorities and plan to present the data in a future publication or medical congress. Based on the data and if approved by the FDA, IMBRUVICA plus obinutuzumab could be the first chemotherapy-free CD20 combination in first-line CLL treatment.
“We are optimistic about the topline results from the iLLUMINATE study and the fact that IMBRUVICA plus obinutuzumab demonstrated marked improvement in progression-free survival compared to obinutuzumab plus chlorambucil, a combination which is currently recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines as a Category 1 treatment,”2 said Danelle James, M.D., M.A.S., Head of Clinical Science, Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company. “Since its introduction nearly five years ago, IMBRUVICA has been regarded as an important treatment option for patients with CLL/SLL. As well, we now have long-term, five-year data in CLL. We are committed to researching the full potential of IMBRUVICA alone and in combination therapy across a range of B-cell blood cancers.”
“We’re pleased to see positive results for the combination of ibrutinib plus obinutuzumab. This chemotherapy-free combination represents a potential new treatment option for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia,” said John Gribben, M.D., leading investigator for the iLLUMINATE study and Professor of Medical Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, London, United Kingdom. “It’s exciting to see the blood cancer treatment paradigm continue to evolve – each advance moves us one step closer to a better standard of care for these patients.”
CLL is the most common form of leukemia in adults and is a type of cancer that can develop from cells in the bone marrow that later mature into certain white blood cells (called lymphocytes). While these cancer cells start in the bone marrow, they then later spread into the blood. The prevalence of CLL is approximately 115,000 patients in the U.S.3 with approximately 19,000 newly diagnosed patients every year.4 SLL is a slow-growing lymphoma biologically similar to CLL in which too many immature white blood cells cause lymph nodes to become larger than normal.5 CLL/SLL are predominately diseases of the elderly, with a median age of 71 at diagnosis.
iLLUMINATE (NCT 02264574) is a Pharmacyclics-sponsored, randomized, multi-center, open-label, Phase 3 study of IMBRUVICA in combination with obinutuzumab versus chlorambucil in combination with obinutuzumab in patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). According to the study protocol, patients enrolled are age 65 years and older or if less than age 65 years must have at least one of the following criteria: Cumulative Illness Rating Score (CIRS) >6 and Creatinine clearance estimated <70 mL/min using Cockcroft-Gault equation. In the study, patients were randomized to receive IMBRUVICA 420 mg continuously in combination with obinutuzumab 1000 mg intravenously over 6 cycles or chlorambucil on Days 1 and 15 of each cycle plus obinutuzumab 1000 mg intravenously over 6 cycles. The primary endpoint is progression-free survival by IRC, with secondary objectives including overall response rate and rate of minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative responses.
IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) is a first-in-class, oral, once-daily therapy that mainly works by blocking a protein called Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). BTK is a key signaling molecule in the B-cell receptor signaling complex that plays an important role in the survival and spread of malignant B cells as well as other serious, debilitating conditions.6 IMBRUVICA blocks signals that tell malignant B cells to multiply and spread uncontrollably.
IMBRUVICA is FDA-approved in six distinct patient populations: chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM), along with previously-treated mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), previously-treated marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) and previously-treated chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD).7
- IMBRUVICA was first approved for adult patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy in November 2013.
- Soon after, IMBRUVICA was initially approved in adult CLL patients who have received at least one prior therapy in February 2014. By July 2014, the therapy received approval for adult CLL patients with 17p deletion, and by March 2016, the therapy was approved as a frontline CLL treatment.
- IMBRUVICA was approved for adult patients with WM in January 2015.
- In May 2016, IMBRUVICA was approved in combination with bendamustine and rituximab (BR) for adult patients with previously treated CLL/SLL.
- In January 2017, IMBRUVICA was approved for adult patients with MZL who require systemic therapy and have received at least one prior anti-CD20-based therapy.
- In August 2017, IMBRUVICA was approved for adult patients with cGVHD that failed to respond to one or more lines of systemic therapy.
Accelerated approval was granted for the MCL and MZL indications based on overall response rate. Continued approval for MCL and MZL may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.
IMBRUVICA has been granted four Breakthrough Therapy Designations from the U.S. FDA. This designation is intended to expedite the development and review of a potential new drug for serious or life-threatening diseases.8 IMBRUVICA was one of the first medicines to receive FDA approval via the new Breakthrough Therapy Designation pathway.
IMBRUVICA is being studied alone and in combination with other treatments in several blood and solid tumor cancers and other serious illnesses. IMBRUVICA has one of the most robust clinical oncology development programs for a single molecule in the industry, with more than 130 ongoing clinical trials. There are approximately 30 ongoing company-sponsored trials, 14 of which are in Phase 3, and more than 100 investigator-sponsored trials and external collaborations that are active around the world. To date, 100,000 patients around the world have been treated with IMBRUVICA in clinical practice and clinical trials.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Hemorrhage: Fatal bleeding events have occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA®. Grade 3 or higher bleeding events (intracranial hemorrhage [including subdural hematoma], gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, and post-procedural hemorrhage) have occurred in up to 6% of patients. Bleeding events of any grade, including bruising and petechiae, occurred in approximately half of patients treated with IMBRUVICA®.
The mechanism for the bleeding events is not well understood.
IMBRUVICA® may increase the risk of hemorrhage in patients receiving antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapies and patients should be monitored for signs of bleeding.
Consider the benefit-risk of withholding IMBRUVICA® for at least 3 to 7 days pre and post-surgery depending upon the type of surgery and the risk of bleeding.
Infections: Fatal and non-fatal infections (including bacterial, viral, or fungal) have occurred with IMBRUVICA® therapy. Grade 3 or greater infections occurred in 14% to 29% of patients. Cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) have occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA®. Consider prophylaxis according to standard of care in patients who are at increased risk for opportunistic infections.
Monitor and evaluate patients for fever and infections and treat appropriately.
Cytopenias: Treatment-emergent Grade 3 or 4 cytopenias including neutropenia (range, 13 to 29%), thrombocytopenia (range, 5 to 17%), and anemia (range, 0 to 13%) based on laboratory measurements occurred in patients with B-cell malignancies treated with single agent IMBRUVICA®. Monitor complete blood counts monthly.
Cardiac Arrhythmias: Fatal and serious cardiac arrhythmias have occurred with IMBRUVICA® therapy. Grade 3 or greater ventricular tachyarrhythmias occurred in 0 to 1% of patients, and Grade 3 or greater atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter occurred in 0 to 6% of patients. These events have occurred particularly in patients with cardiac risk factors, hypertension, acute infections, and a previous history of cardiac arrhythmias.
Periodically monitor patients clinically for cardiac arrhythmias. Obtain an ECG for patients who develop arrhythmic symptoms (e.g., palpitations, lightheadedness, syncope, chest pain) or new onset dyspnea. Manage cardiac arrhythmias appropriately, and if it persists, consider the risks and benefits of IMBRUVICA® treatment and follow dose modification guidelines.
Hypertension: Hypertension (range, 6 to 17%) has occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA® with a median time to onset of 4.6 months (range, 0.03 to 22 months). Monitor patients for new onset hypertension or hypertension that is not adequately controlled after starting IMBRUVICA®.
Adjust existing anti-hypertensive medications and/or initiate anti-hypertensive treatment as appropriate.
Second Primary Malignancies: Other malignancies (range, 3 to 16%) including non-skin carcinomas (range, 1 to 4%) have occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA®. The most frequent second primary malignancy was non-melanoma skin cancer (range, 2 to 13%).
Tumor Lysis Syndrome: Tumor lysis syndrome has been infrequently reported with IMBRUVICA® therapy. Assess the baseline risk (e.g., high tumor burden) and take appropriate precautions.
Monitor patients closely and treat as appropriate.
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on findings in animals, IMBRUVICA® can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise women to avoid becoming pregnant while taking IMBRUVICA® and for 1 month after cessation of therapy. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus. Advise men to avoid fathering a child during the same time period.
B-cell malignancies: The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients with B-cell malignancies (MCL, CLL/SLL, WM and MZL) were thrombocytopenia (62%)*, neutropenia (61%)*, diarrhea (43%), anemia (41%)*, musculoskeletal pain (30%), bruising (30%), rash (30%), fatigue (29%), nausea (29%), hemorrhage (22%), and pyrexia (21%).
The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥5%) in patients with B-cell malignancies (MCL, CLL/SLL, WM and MZL) were neutropenia (39%)*, thrombocytopenia (16%)*, and pneumonia (10%).
Approximately 6% (CLL/SLL), 14% (MCL), 11% (WM) and 10% (MZL) of patients had a dose reduction due to adverse reactions. Approximately 4%-10% (CLL/SLL), 9% (MCL), and 9 % (WM [6%] and MZL [13%]) of patients discontinued due to adverse reactions.
cGVHD: The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients with cGVHD were fatigue (57%), bruising (40%), diarrhea (36%), thrombocytopenia (33%)*, stomatitis (29%), muscle spasms (29%), nausea (26%), hemorrhage (26%), anemia (24%)*, and pneumonia (21%).
The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥5%) reported in patients with cGVHD were fatigue (12%), diarrhea (10%), neutropenia (10%)*, pneumonia (10%), sepsis (10%), hypokalemia (7%),
headache (5%), musculoskeletal pain (5%), and pyrexia (5%).
Twenty-four percent of patients receiving IMBRUVICA® in the cGVHD trial discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions. Adverse reactions leading to dose reduction occurred in 26% of patients.
*Treatment-emergent decreases (all grades) were based on laboratory measurements and adverse reactions.
CYP3A Inhibitors: Dose adjustment may be recommended.
CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration with strong CYP3A inducers.
Hepatic Impairment (based on Child-Pugh criteria): Avoid use of IMBRUVICA® in patients with severe baseline hepatic impairment. In patients with mild or moderate impairment, reduce IMBRUVICA® dose.
Please click here for full Prescribing Information.
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Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project” and similar expressions, among others, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges to intellectual property, competition from other products, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry. Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie’s operations is set forth in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” in AbbVie’s 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AbbVie undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.
U.S. Medical Information
IMBRUVICA is a registered trademark of Pharmacyclics LLC.
1 O’Brien S, et al. Five-year experience with single-agent ibrutinib in patients with previously untreated and relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic leukemia. ASH 2016. Abstract #233.
2 Referenced with permission from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma V.4.2018. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Accessed March 14, 2018. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to NCCN.org. NCCN makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever regarding their content, use or application and disclaims any responsibility for their application or use in any way.
3 IMS Database [Data on File].
4 American Cancer Society. What are the key statistics for chronic lymphocytic leukemia? http://www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemia-chroniclymphocyticcll/detailedguide/leukemia-chronic-lymphocytic-key-statistics. Accessed March 2018.
5 American Cancer Society. Leukemia – chronic lymphocytic. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003111-pdf.pdf. Accessed March 2018.
6 Genetics Home Reference. Isolated growth hormone deficiency. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/isolated-growth-hormone-deficiency. Accessed December 2017.
7 IMBRUVICA U.S. Prescribing Information, February 2018
8 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Fact sheet: breakthrough therapies. https://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/LawsEnforcedbyFDA/SignificantAmendmentstotheFDCAct/FDASIA/ucm329491.htm. Accessed May 2018,