U.S. FDA Approves Takeda's NINLARO® (ixazomib), the First and Only Oral Proteasome Inhibitor to Treat Multiple Myeloma

November 21, 2015

- NINLARO Provides a New Option for Patients Living with Multiple Myeloma Who Have Received at Least One Prior Therapy

Cambridge, Mass. and Osaka, Japan, November 20, 2015 – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved NINLARO® (ixazomib) capsules, the first and only oral proteasome inhibitor, indicated in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy. NINLARO is a once-weekly pill. More information is available at www.NINLARO.com.

Takeda submitted a New Drug Application for NINLARO to the FDA in July 2015, and in September NINLARO was granted Priority Review status with a PDUFA date of March 10, 2016, reflecting the profound and continuing unmet need for new treatments for multiple myeloma, a devastating, relapsing and incurable rare cancer.

“With the approval of NINLARO, we can now offer patients a once-weekly oral proteasome inhibitor as part of a highly active triplet therapy,” said Paul Richardson, M.D., Clinical Program Leader and Director of Clinical Research, Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center Institute Physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and investigator for TOURMALINE-MM1, the pivotal Phase 3 trial on which today’s approval is based. “We, as investigators of the TOURMALINE-MM1 trial, felt it was vital to conduct a comprehensive ‘real world’ evaluation of this combination that included some of the most common patient types in the relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma setting, such as older patients, patients with moderate renal impairment, light chain disease, and high risk cytogenetics. Further, we treated patients until disease progression to determine the sustainability of NINLARO in treating their relapsed/refractory disease. The TOURMALINE-MM1 data demonstrate convincingly that oral NINLARO-based triplet treatment is effective at extending progression-free survival, over and above the clinical benefit seen with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, with a tolerable safety profile.”

“We introduced the first proteasome inhibitor for multiple myeloma, VELCADE, into clinical research approximately 20 years ago. Since that time, we’ve significantly advanced scientific understanding of this rare cancer, culminating in the introduction of NINLARO,” said Andy Plump, M.D., Ph.D, Takeda Chief Medical and Scientific Officer. “NINLARO is an entirely new molecule that offers the efficacy of this proteasome inhibitor in a convenient once-weekly pill with a tolerable safety profile. Takeda is delighted to bring this significant innovation to multiple myeloma patients today, and we continue to examine the potential of NINLARO through a robust clinical development program.”

Dr. Brian Durie, Chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation, said, "The IMF is pleased by the approval of ixazomib. This opens the door for a fully oral proteasome inhibitor-based triplet combination therapy. Having worked in multiple myeloma for decades, I’ve seen notable progress, yet significant unmet needs remain. With today’s approval, we now have another attractive option for many patients living with multiple myeloma.”

The FDA approval of NINLARO is based on results from the TOURMALINE-MM1 Phase 3 clinical trial, the first double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a proteasome inhibitor. TOURMALINE-MM1 is the first of five ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials with study results available. The TOURMALINE program has enrolled approximately 3,000 patients to date in 40 countries. Data from the NINLARO Phase 3 TOURMALINE-MM1 pivotal trial will be presented at the upcoming 57th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology on December 7, 2015.

“The approval of ixazomib offers a much-needed additional option in the multiple myeloma treatment landscape. It is developments such as these that help us to better understand the disease and provide continued hope for patients,” said Kathy Giusti, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). “A cancer diagnosis today is different from what it was just a few years ago and it’s exciting to see continued progress. As a patient, I understand the urgent need for advancing research through partnerships that bring new treatment options, as we’ve done with Takeda." 

“NINLARO is a first-of-its-kind innovation that is supported by a global development program, unprecedented for us at Takeda Oncology, and we would like to express our immense appreciation for all patients involved for their incredible strength and invaluable participation. The introduction of NINLARO marks an important step forward, as its efficacy and safety profile – coupled with its completely oral administration – potentially can reduce some logistical burdens, and help enable patients to reap the full benefits of this sustainable therapy,” explained Christophe Bianchi, M.D., President, Takeda Oncology. “As part of our unwavering 20-year commitment, Takeda will continue to pursue advances for these patients, and we look forward to introducing and expanding access to NINLARO in other markets around the world.”

About the TOURMALINE-MM1 Trial

TOURMALINE-MM1 is an international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 722 patients, designed to evaluate NINLARO plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone compared to placebo plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone in adult patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. Results showed NINLARO is effective in extending Progression Free Survival (PFS) and has a manageable safety profile. The trial achieved its primary endpoint and demonstrated a clinically meaningful and statistically significant prolongation in PFS at this analysis, which showed that patients treated in the NINLARO arm lived without their disease worsening for a significantly longer time compared to patients in the control arm. Patients continue to be treated to progression in this trial and will be evaluated for long term outcomes.

In the TOURMALINE-MM1 trial, the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients receiving NINLARO included diarrhea, constipation, thrombocytopenia, peripheral neuropathy, nausea, peripheral edema, vomiting and back pain. Serious adverse reactions reported in ≥2% patients included thrombocytopenia (2%) and diarrhea (2%).  

Efficacy and safety data were reviewed by an Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC), who recommended the study be continued in blinded fashion to allow further maturation of long term outcomes, including overall survival (OS) and long-term safety.

About NINLARO (ixazomib) capsules

NINLARO (ixazomib) is the first and only oral proteasome inhibitor indicated in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy. NINLARO is administered orally, once-weekly on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day treatment cycle. NINLARO is currently under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and was granted an accelerated assessment by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). NINLARO also received Breakthrough Therapy status by the U.S. FDA for relapsed or refractory systemic light-chain (AL) amyloidosis, a related ultra orphan disease, in 2014.

The TOURMALINE clinical development program further reinforces Takeda’s ongoing commitment to developing innovative therapies for people living with multiple myeloma worldwide and the healthcare professionals who treat them. Five global Phase 3 trials are ongoing:

  • TOURMALINE-MM1, investigating ixazomib vs. placebo, in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma
  • TOURMALINE-MM2, investigating ixazomib vs. placebo, in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma
  • TOURMALINE-MM3, investigating ixazomib vs. placebo as maintenance therapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma following induction therapy and autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT)
  • TOURMALINE-MM4, investigating ixazomib vs. placebo as maintenance therapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who have not undergone ASCT
  • TOURMALINE-AL1, investigating ixazomib plus dexamethasone vs. physician choice of selected regimens in patients with relapsed or refractory AL amyloidosis

In addition to the TOURMALINE program, a large number of investigator initiated studies are evaluating ixazomib for patients globally.

For additional information on the ongoing Phase 3 studies please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov. To learn more about NINLARO, please visit www.NINLARO.com or call 1-844-N1POINT (1-844-617-6468).

Important Safety Information – Professional

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

  • Thrombocytopenia has been reported with NINLARO. During treatment, monitor platelet counts at least monthly, and consider more frequent monitoring during the first three cycles. Adjust dosing as needed. Platelet nadirs occurred between Days 14-21 of each 28-day cycle and recovered to baseline by the start of the next cycle.
  • Gastrointestinal Toxicities,including diarrhea, constipation, nausea and vomiting, were reported with NINLARO and may occasionally require the use of antidiarrheal and antiemetic medications, and supportive care. Adjust dosing for severe symptoms.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy (predominantly sensory) was reported with NINLARO. Monitor patients for symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and adjust dosing as needed.
  • Peripheral Edema was reported with NINLARO. Monitor for fluid retention. Investigate for underlying causes when appropriate and provide supportive care as necessary. Adjust dosing as needed.
  • Cutaneous Reactions: Rash, most commonly maculo-papular and macular rash, was reported with NINLARO. Manage rash with supportive care or with dose modification.
  • Hepatotoxicity has been reported with NINLARO. Monitor hepatic enzymes regularly during treatment and adjust dosing as needed
  • Embryo-fetal Toxicity: NINLARO can cause fetal harm. Women should be advised of the potential risk to a fetus, to avoid becoming pregnant, and to use contraception during treatment and for an additional 90 days after the final dose of NINLARO.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The most common adverse reactions occurring in greater than or equal to 20% of patients treated with NINLARO were diarrhea, constipation, thrombocytopenia, peripheral neuropathy, nausea, peripheral edema, vomiting and back pain.

SPECIAL POPULATIONS

  • Hepatic Impairment: Reduce the NINLARO starting dose to 3mgin patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment
  • Renal Impairment: Reducethe NINLARO starting dose to 3 mg in patients with severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis. NINLARO is not dialyzable.
  • Lactation: Advise women to discontinue nursing while on NINLARO.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Avoid concomitant administration of NINLARO with strong CYP3A inducers.

INDICATION

NINLARO (ixazomib) is indicated in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy.

Please see the accompanying full Prescribing Information for NINLARO.

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, which are found in the bone marrow. In multiple myeloma, a group of plasma cells, or myeloma cells, becomes cancerous and multiplies, increasing the number of plasma cells to a higher than normal level. Because plasma cells circulate widely in the body, they have the potential to affect many bones in the body, possibly resulting in compression fractures, lytic bone lesions and related pain. Multiple myeloma can cause a number of serious health problems affecting the bones, immune system, kidneys and red blood cell count, with some of the more common symptoms including bone pain and fatigue, a symptom of anemia. Multiple myeloma is a rare form of cancer, with more than 26,000 new cases in the U.S. and 114,000 new cases globally per year.

About Takeda
Located in Osaka, Japan, Takeda (TSE: 4502) is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine.

Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, www.takeda.com.

 

Contacts:

Japanese Media

Tsuyoshi Tada
tsuyoshi.tada@takeda.com
+81 (0) 3-3278-2417

 

Media outside Japan

Amy Atwood
amy.atwood@takeda.com
+1-617-444-2147