Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

AbbVie Receives Positive CHMP Opinion for Epcoritamab (TEPKINLY ®) for the Treatment of Adults with Relapsed/Refractory Follicular Lymphoma

Jun 28, 2024



  • If approved, epcoritamab (TEPKINLY ®) will become the first and only bispecific antibody conditionally approved as a monotherapy in the European Union to treat both relapsed or refractory (R/R) follicular lymphoma (FL) and R/R diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), after two or more lines of prior therapy
  • Positive CHMP opinion based on results from the Phase 1/2 EPCORE ® NHL-1 study

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., June 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — AbbVie (NYSE: NYSE:) today announced that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a positive opinion recommending the conditional marketing authorization of epcoritamab (TEPKINLY ®), the first and only T-cell engaging bispecific antibody administered subcutaneously (under the skin), as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more prior therapies. The European Commission decision on this indication for epcoritamab is anticipated later this year.

“Patients with follicular lymphoma are likely to face disease recurrence and shorter durability of response with each subsequent line of treatment. This positive opinion recognizes the unmet need in the European Union for individuals with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma, following failure of other therapies,” said Mariana Cota Stirner, M.D., Ph.D., vice president, therapeutic area head for hematology, AbbVie.

FL is typically an indolent (or slow-growing) form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) that arises from B-lymphocytes and is the second most common form of NHL accounting for 20-30% of all cases.1 In 2023, there were an estimated 13,000 cases of FL in Western Europe.2 FL is considered incurable with current standard of care therapies.3

The CHMP opinion is supported by overall and complete response data from the Phase 1/2 EPCORE ® NHL-1 clinical trial in 128 patients with R/R FL treated with epcoritamab after two or more lines of prior therapy. The study included patients who were refractory to both anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy and an alkylating agent, patients who were refractory to last prior treatment, and patients whose disease progressed within two years of first systemic therapy. The safety profile of epcoritamab in the pivotal cohort was similar to reports of epcoritamab monotherapy in the pivotal EPCORE NHL-1 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cohort.4

An additional cohort of 86 patients evaluated a 3-step-up dosing (SUD) schedule to reduce the incidence and severity of cytokine release syndrome (CRS), which is an associated adverse effect from immune-engaging cancer treatments. For the first full dose of this 3-step regimen, mandatory hospitalization was not required. In this cohort, the incidence of CRS was 49% (42 of 86 patients; 9% were grade 2). There were no grade 3 or higher CRS events. The data from this optimization cohort of the EPCORE NHL-1 study were recently published in the Lancet Haematology.

“Each year, thousands of people in Europe are diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, and it’s an upsetting reality that many of them will experience relapse and refractory disease,” said Catherine Thieblemont, M.D., Ph.D., head of the hemato-oncology department, Paris University, Hôpital Saint-Louis Assistance-Publique-Hopitaux de Paris (APHP) in Paris. “Patients deserve new treatment options, and this positive opinion is the first step to bringing epcoritamab to more patients who need it.”

Epcoritamab is being co-developed by AbbVie and Genmab (NASDAQ:) as part of the companies’ oncology collaboration. The companies will share commercial responsibilities in the U.S. and Japan, with AbbVie responsible for further global commercialization. Both companies will pursue additional international regulatory approvals for the investigational R/R FL indication and additional approvals for the R/R DLBCL indication.

About the Phase 1/2 EPCORE ® NHL-1 Trial
EPCORE ® NHL-1 is an open-label, multi-center safety and preliminary efficacy trial of epcoritamab that consists of three parts: a dose escalation part; an expansion part; and an optimization part. The trial was designed to evaluate subcutaneous epcoritamab in patients with relapsed, progressive or refractory CD20+ mature B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (B-NHL), including FL. In the expansion part, additional patients were enrolled to further explore the safety and efficacy of epcoritamab in three cohorts of patients with different types of relapsed/refractory B-NHLs who have limited therapeutic options. The optimization part evaluates the potential for alternative step-up dosing regimens to help further minimize Grade 2 cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and mitigate Grade ‰¥3 CRS. The primary endpoint of the expansion part was ORR as assessed by an IRC. Secondary efficacy endpoints included duration of response, complete response rate, duration of complete response, progression-free survival, and time to response as determined by the Lugano criteria. Overall survival, time to next therapy, and rate of minimal residual disease negativity were also evaluated as secondary efficacy endpoints. The primary endpoint of the optimization part was the rate of ‰¥ Grade 2 CRS events and all grade CRS events from first dose of epcoritamab through 7 days following administration of the second full dose of epcoritamab.

Topline results of the study were shared in December 2023. More information can be found on www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03625037).

About Follicular Lymphoma (FL)
FL is typically an indolent (or slow-growing) form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) that arises from B-lymphocytes and is the second most common form of NHL accounting for 20-30% of all cases.1 FL is considered incurable with current standard of care therapies.3 Patients often relapse and with each relapse, the remission and time to next treatment is shorter.5 Over time, transformation to DLBCL, an aggressive form of NHL associated with poor survival outcomes, can occur in more than 25% of FL patients.6

About Epcoritamab
Epcoritamab is an investigational IgG1-bispecific antibody created using Genmab’s proprietary DuoBody ® technology and administered subcutaneously. Genmab’s DuoBody-CD3 technology is designed to direct cytotoxic T cells selectively to elicit an immune response toward target cell types. Epcoritamab is designed to simultaneously bind to CD3 on T cells and CD20 on B cells and induces T-cell-mediated killing of CD20+ cells.7

Epcoritamab (approved under the brand name EPKINLY ® in the United States and TEPKINLY ® in the European Union) has received regulatory approval in certain lymphoma indications in several countries.

AbbVie will continue to pursue regulatory submissions for epcoritamab across international markets. Both Genmab and AbbVie continue to evaluate the use of epcoritamab as a monotherapy and in combination across lines of therapy in a range of hematologic malignancies. Please visit clinicaltrials.gov for more information.

EU Indications and Important Safety Information about Tepkinly ® –¼(epcoritamab)

Indications
Tepkinly (epcoritamab) as monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy.

Important Safety Information

Contraindications
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients.

Special warnings and precautions for use
Cytokine release syndrome (CRS)
CRS, which may be life-threatening or fatal, occurred in patients receiving Tepkinly. The most common signs and symptoms of CRS include pyrexia, hypotension and hypoxia. Other signs and symptoms of CRS in more than two patients include chills, tachycardia, headache and dyspnoea.

Most CRS events occurred in Cycle 1 and were associated with the first full dose of Tepkinly. Administer prophylactic corticosteroids to mitigate the risk of CRS. Patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of CRS following Tepkinly administration. Patients should be hospitalised for 24 hours after administration of the Cycle 1 Day 15 dose of 48 mg to monitor for signs and symptoms of CRS. At the first signs or symptoms of CRS, institute treatment of supportive care with tocilizumab and/or corticosteroids as appropriate. Patients should be counselled on the signs and symptoms associated with CRS and patients should be instructed to contact their healthcare professional and seek immediate medical attention should signs or symptoms occur at any time. Management of CRS may require either temporary delay or discontinuation of Tepkinly based on the severity of CRS.

Immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS)
ICANS, including a fatal event, have occurred in patients receiving Tepkinly. ICANS may manifest as aphasia, altered level of consciousness, impairment of cognitive skills, motor weakness, seizures, and cerebral oedema. The majority of cases of ICANS occurred within Cycle 1 of Tepkinly treatment, however some occurred with delayed onset. Patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of ICANS following Tepkinly administration. Patients should be hospitalised for 24 hours after administration of the Cycle 1 Day 15 dose of 48 mg to monitor for signs and symptoms of ICANS. At the first signs or symptoms of ICANS treatment with corticosteroids and non-sedating-anti-seizure medicinal products should be instituted as appropriate. Patients should be counselled on the signs and symptoms of ICANS and that the onset of events may be delayed. Patients should be instructed to contact their healthcare professional and seek immediate medical attention should signs or symptoms occur at any time. Tepkinly should be delayed or discontinued as recommended.

Serious infections
Treatment with Tepkinly may lead to an increased risk of infections. Serious or fatal infections were observed in patients treated with Tepkinly in clinical studies. Administration of Tepkinly should be avoided in patients with clinically significant active systemic infections. As appropriate, prophylactic antimicrobials should be administered prior to and during treatment with Tepkinly. Patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of infection, before and after Tepkinly administration, and treated appropriately. In the event of febrile neutropenia, patients should be evaluated for infection and managed with antibiotics, fluids and other supportive care, according to local guidelines.

Tumour Lysis Syndrome (TLS)
TLS has been reported in patients receiving Tepkinly. Patients at an increased risk for TLS are recommended to receive hydration and prophylactic treatment with a uric acid lowering agent. Patients should be monitored for signs or symptoms of TLS, especially patients with high tumour burden or rapidly proliferative tumours, and patients with reduced renal function. Patients should be monitored for blood chemistries and abnormalities should be managed promptly.

Tumour flare
Tumour flare has been reported in patients treated with Tepkinly. Manifestations could include localized pain and swelling. Consistent with the mechanism of action of Tepkinly, tumour flare is likely due to the influx of T-cells into tumour sites following Tepkinly administration. There are no specific risk factors for tumour flare that have been identified; however, there is a heightened risk of compromise and morbidity due to mass effect secondary to tumour flare in patients with bulky tumours located in close proximity to airways and/or a vital organ. Patients treated with Tepkinly should be monitored and evaluated for tumour flare at critical anatomical sites.

CD20-negative disease
There are limited data available on patients with CD20-negative DLBCL treated with Tepkinly, and it is possible that patients with CD20-negative DLBCL may have less benefit compared to patients with CD20- positive DLBCL. The potential risks and benefits associated with treatment of patients with CD20- negative DLBCL with Tepkinly should be considered.

Immunisation
Live and/or live-attenuated vaccines should not be given during Tepkinly therapy. Studies have not been conducted in patients who received live vaccines.

Fertility, pregnancy and lactation
Tepkinly is not recommended during pregnancy and in women of childbearing potential not using contraception.

Effects on ability to drive and use machines
Tepkinly has minor influence on the ability to drive and use machines. Due to the potential for ICANS, patients should be advised to exercise caution while (or avoid if symptomatic) driving, cycling or using heavy or potentially dangerous machines.

Undesirable effects
Summary of the safety profile
The most common adverse reactions ( ‰¥ 20%) were CRS, fatigue, neutropenia, injection site reactions, musculoskeletal pain, abdominal pain, pyrexia, nausea, and diarrhoea.

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 52% of patients. The most frequent serious adverse reaction ( ‰¥ 10%) was cytokine release syndrome (31%). Seven patients (4.2%) experienced a fatal adverse reaction (pneumonia in 3 (1.8%) patients, viral infection in 3 (1.8%) patients, and ICANS in 1 (0.6%) patient). Adverse reactions that led to discontinuation occurred in 6.6% of patients. Discontinuation of Tepkinly due to pneumonia occurred in 6 (3.6%) patients, viral infection in 3 (1.8%) patients, and CRS, ICANS, or fatigue in 1 (0.6%) patient each. Dose delays due to adverse reactions occurred in 32% of patients. Adverse reactions leading to dose delays ( ‰¥ 3%) were viral infections (9.6%), CRS (7.2%), neutropenia (4.8%), pyrexia (3.0%), and thrombocytopenia (3.0%).

This is not a complete summary of all safety information.

See Tepkinly ® full Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) at www.ema.europa.eu

Globally, prescribing information varies; refer to the individual country product label for complete information.

About AbbVie in Oncology
At AbbVie, we are committed to transforming standards of care for patients living with difficult-to-treat cancers. We are advancing a dynamic pipeline of investigational therapies across a range of cancer types in both blood cancers and solid tumors. We are focusing on creating targeted medicines that either impede the reproduction of cancer cells or enable their elimination. We achieve this through various, targeted treatment modalities including Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs), Immuno-Oncology, and bi-specific and CAR-T platforms. Our dedicated and experienced team joins forces with innovative partners to accelerate the delivery of potential breakthrough medicines.

Today, our expansive oncology portfolio is comprised of approved and investigational treatments for a wide range of blood and solid tumors. We are evaluating more than 20 investigational medicines across some of the world’s most widespread and debilitating cancers. As we work to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives, we are committed to exploring solutions to help patients obtain access to our cancer medicines. For more information, please visit us at http://www.abbvie.com/oncology.

About AbbVie
AbbVie‘s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines and solutions that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas “ immunology, oncology, neuroscience, and eye care “ and products and services in our Allergan (NYSE:) Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on LinkedIn, Facebook (NASDAQ:), Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.

AbbVie Forward-Looking Statements
Some statements in this news release are, or may be considered, forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project” and similar expressions and uses of future or conditional verbs, 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 expressed or implied 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,” of AbbVie‘s 2022 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as updated by its subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. AbbVie undertakes no obligation, and specifically declines, to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.

1Lymphoma Research Foundation official website. https://lymphoma.org/aboutlymphoma/nhl/fl/. Accessed February 2024.
2 Kanas G, Ge W, Quek RGW, et al. Leukemia & Lymphoma. 2022;63(1):54-63.
3 Ghione P, Palomba ML, Ghesquieres H, et al. Treatment patterns and outcomes in relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma: results from the international SCHOLAR-5 study. Haematologica. 2023;108(3):822-832. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2022.281421.
4Linton Kim, Vitolo Umberto, Jurczak Wojciech, et al. Epcoritamab monotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (EPCORE NHL-1): a phase 2 cohort of a single-arm, multicentre study. Lancet Haematol. 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/ S2352-3026(24)00166-2.
5 Rivas-Delgado A, Magnano L, Moreno-Velázquez M, et al. Response duration and survival shorten after each relapse in patients with follicular lymphoma treated in the rituximab era. Br J Haematol. 2018;184(5):753-759. doi:10.1111/bjh.15708.
6 Al-Tourah AJ, Gill KK, Chhanabhai M, et al. Population-based analysis of incidence and outcome of transformed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Nov 10;26(32):5165-9. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.16.0283. Epub 2008 Oct 6. PMID: 18838711.
7 Engelberts PJ, Hiemstra IH, de Jong B, et al. DuoBody-CD3xCD20 induces potent T-cell-mediated killing of malignant B cells in preclinical models and provides opportunities for subcutaneous dosing. EBioMedicine. 2020;52:102625. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.102625.





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