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Subject: FDA

U.S. FDA Approves IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) as First Approved Treatment Specifically for Adults with Chronic Graft-Versus-Host-Disease (cGVHD) -- A Serious, Potentially Life-Threatening Condition -- After Failure of One or More Lines of Systemic Therapy



NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Aug. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) for the treatment of adult patients with chronic graft-versus-host-disease (cGVHD) after failure of one or more lines of systemic therapy.1 With this approval, IMBRUVICA becomes the first and only therapy specifically approved for adults with cGVHD, a serious and debilitating potential consequence of stem cell or bone marrow transplant.2 IMBRUVICA, a first-in-class Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, is jointly developed and commercialized by Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company, and Janssen Biotech, Inc.

"Stem cell and bone marrow transplants can be life-saving treatment options for people with blood cancers or marrow failure syndromes; however, nearly half of transplant patients subsequently develop chronic graft-versus-host-disease, or cGVHD, in which the donor's immune cells damage the patient's normal organs and their quality of life," said David Miklos, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine (Blood and Marrow Transplantation), Stanford University, and lead investigator of the IMBRUVICA cGVHD clinical study.* "With IMBRUVICA, we observed sustained responses lasting five months or longer across multiple organs affected by this debilitating condition for 48 percent of all patients. This approval represents a major advance and provides physicians with a new option for adults with steroid refractory cGVHD."

The approval in cGVHD is based on findings from an open-label, multi-center, single-arm Phase 1b/2 trial (PCYC-1129), which evaluated the safety and efficacy of ibrutinib in 42 patients with cGVHD that failed to respond to first-line corticosteroid therapy and required additional therapy (median age of 56; range: 19 to 74 years old; 52 percent male; 93 percent Caucasian). The most common underlying malignancies leading to transplantation for the study population were acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The median time since cGVHD diagnosis was 14 months, and the median number of prior cGVHD treatments was two (range: one to three treatments). The majority of patients (88 percent) had at least two organs affected at baseline, including mouth (86 percent), skin (81 percent) and gastrointestinal tract (33 percent).1

"The FDA's approval of IMBRUVICA in chronic graft-versus-host-disease after failure of one or more lines of systemic therapy addresses an area of high unmet medical need for patients and marks the first approved use for the therapy outside of blood cancers," said Lori Styles, M.D., Senior Medical Director and GVHD program clinical lead at Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company. "This approval is an indicator of what is possible with IMBRUVICA, and we remain excited about the clinical utility of IMBRUVICA in other disease areas. We continue to explore the full potential of this therapy and believe our comprehensive clinical trial program will help advance patient care."

Investigators assessed responses per the 2005 National Institute of Health Consensus Panel Response Criteria with modification. Responses were seen across involved organs for cGVHD (i.e., skin, mouth, gastrointestinal tract and liver). Overall response rate (ORR) was achieved in 67 percent of patients, 21 percent of which were complete responders (CR) and nearly half (45 percent) were partial responders (PR). The rate of sustained response for at least 20 weeks was 48 percent for all patients.1

The most common adverse events (AEs) of all Grades (occurring in ?20 percent of cGVHD patients treated with IMBRUVICA) included fatigue, bruising, diarrhea, thrombocytopenia, stomatitis, muscle spasms, nausea, hemorrhage, anemia and pneumonia. Atrial fibrillation occurred in one patient (2 percent), which was Grade 3. Twenty-four percent of patients receiving IMBRUVICA in the cGVHD trial discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions. The most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation were fatigue and pneumonia. Adverse reactions leading to dose reduction occurred in 26 percent of patients.1

The risks associated with IMBRUVICA as listed in the Warnings and Precautions section of the prescribing information are hemorrhage, infections, cytopenias, atrial fibrillation, hypertension, secondary primary malignancies, tumor lysis syndrome and embryo fetal toxicities.1

IMBRUVICA has been granted four Breakthrough Therapy Designations from the FDA, including in cGVHD. This designation is intended to expedite the development and review of a potential new drug for serious or life-threatening diseases.3

IMBRUVICA is now approved for six indications overall, including adult patients with cGVHD that failed to respond to one or more lines of systemic therapy, as well as adults with certain types of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, including CLL/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), including patients with 17p deletion; patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) who have received at least one prior therapy; patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM); and patients with marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) who require systemic therapy and have received at least one prior anti-CD20-based therapy. Accelerated approval was granted for the MCL and MZL indications based on ORR. Continued approval for the MCL and MZL indications may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.1 In addition to IMBRUVICA being the first therapy specifically approved for adult patients with cGVHD after failure of one or more lines of systemic therapy, it also was the first therapy specifically approved for adults with MZL and WM.

About Graft-Versus-Host-Disease
Chronic graft-versus-host-disease (cGVHD) is a severe, potentially life-threatening consequence of stem cell or bone marrow transplant.2 GVHD is a condition where the bone marrow recipient's tissues are attacked by bone marrow donor immune cells after they undergo an allogeneic stem cell or bone marrow transplant.2 GVHD can be acute or chronic; cGVHD typically begins three or more months following a transplant and can last several years.2 The effects of GVHD can be seen throughout the body, affecting almost any organ and manifesting through rashes and skin thickening, joint pain and stiffness, eye dryness and irritation, diarrhea, jaundice, mouth sores and ulcers, and severe lung dysfunction.2 The incidence of cGVHD has continued to increase over time, and approximately 30-70 percent of post allogenic transplant patients will develop cGVHD.4,5  

About IMBRUVICA
IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) is a first-in-class, oral, once-daily therapy that inhibits 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.1,6 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).1

IMBRUVICA was one of the first medicines to receive U.S. 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 approximately 130 ongoing clinical trials. There are a total of 30 ongoing company-sponsored trials, 14 of which are in Phase 3, and approximately 100 investigator-sponsored trials and external collaborations that are active around the world. To date, 70,000 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.

Atrial Fibrillation - Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter (range, 6 to 9%) have occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA®, particularly in patients with cardiac risk factors, hypertension, acute infections, and a previous history of atrial fibrillation. Periodically monitor patients clinically for atrial fibrillation. Patients who develop arrhythmic symptoms (e.g., palpitations, lightheadedness) or new onset dyspnea should have an ECG performed. Atrial fibrillation should be managed 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.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

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%), rash (30%), bruising (30%), nausea (29%), fatigue (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%), muscle spasms (29%), stomatitis (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.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration with strong CYP3A inducers.

CYP3A Inhibitor: Dose adjustment may be recommended.

SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

Hepatic Impairment (based on Child-Pugh criteria): Avoid use of IMBRUVICA® in patients with moderate or severe baseline hepatic impairment. In patients with mild impairment, reduce IMBRUVICA® dose.

About AbbVie
AbbVie is a global, research-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world's most complex and critical conditions. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements
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.

*Disclaimer: Dr. Miklos served as an investigator of this Pharmacyclics-sponsored clinical study. Dr. Miklos does not have a financial interest in the company.

IMBRUVICA is a registered trademark of Pharmacyclics LLC.

PRC-02993 07/17

1

IMBRUVICA U.S. Prescribing Information, August 2017. 

2

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Graft Versus Host Disease. Available from: http://www.lls.org/treatment/types-of-treatment/stem-cell-transplantation/graft-versus-host-disease. Accessed July 2017.

3

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Fact Sheet: Breakthrough Therapies. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/LawsEnforcedbyFDA/SignificantAmendmentstotheFDCAct/FDASIA/ucm329491.htm. Accessed July 2017.

4

Arai, et al. Increasing Incidence of Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease in Allogeneic Transplantation: A Report from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant: 21 (2015) 266-274.

5

Grube, et al. Risk Factors and Outcome of Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation?Results from a Single-Center Observational Study. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant: 2016; 22 (11): 1781-1791.

6

Genetics Home Reference. Isolated growth hormone deficiency. Available from: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/isolated-growth-hormone-deficiency. Accessed July 2017.

 

SOURCE AbbVie Inc.


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