– If Approved by the European Medicines Agency, ALUNBRIG Would Become an Important First-Line Treatment Option for ALK+ NSCLC Patients
– Positive Opinion is Based on Data from Phase 3 ALTA-1L Trial, in which ALUNBRIG Demonstrated Superiority in both Overall and Intracranial Efficacy Compared to Crizotinib
Cambridge, Mass. and Osaka, Japan, March 2, 2020 – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) today announced that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion recommending the approval of ALUNBRIG (brigatinib) as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) previously not treated with an ALK inhibitor. ALUNBRIG is a next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) that was designed to target and inhibit ALK genetic alterations.
“Because of the complex nature of ALK+ NSCLC and the way in which the disease often spreads to the brain, it is essential for physicians to have treatment options that demonstrate both overall and intracranial effectiveness,” said Professor Sanjay Popat, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. “In the ALTA-1L trial, brigatinib demonstrated significant responses in the brain and consistent overall efficacy compared to crizotinib. If approved by the EMA, brigatinib has the potential to become an important option for the first-line treatment of ALK+ advanced NSCLC patients in Europe.”
This opinion is based on data from the Phase 3 ALTA-1L trial, which is evaluating the safety and efficacy of ALUNBRIG compared to crizotinib in patients with ALK+ locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC who have not received prior treatment with an ALK inhibitor. Results from the trial showed ALUNBRIG demonstrated superiority compared to crizotinib with significant responses observed in patients with baseline brain metastases. After more than two years of follow-up, ALUNBRIG reduced the risk of intracranial disease progression or death by 69% in patients with brain metastases at baseline (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.31, 95% CI: 0.17–0.56), as assessed by a blinded independent review committee (BIRC), and reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 76% in patients with brain metastases at baseline (HR = 0.24, 95% CI: 0.12–0.45), as assessed by investigators. ALUNBRIG also demonstrated consistent overall efficacy (intent to treat population), with a median progression-free survival (PFS) more than two times longer than that with crizotinib at 24.0 months (95% CI: 18.5–NE) versus 11.0 months (95% CI: 9.2–12.9) for crizotinib, as assessed by BIRC, and 29.4 months (95% CI: 21.2–NE) versus 9.2 months (95% CI: 7.4–12.9), as assessed by investigators.
The safety profile of ALUNBRIG in the ALTA-1L trial was generally consistent with the existing European summary of product characteristics (SmPC). The most common treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) Grade ≥3 in the ALUNBRIG arm were increased CPK (24.3%), increased lipase (14.0%) and hypertension (11.8%); and for crizotinib were increased ALT (10.2%), increased AST (6.6%), and increased lipase (6.6%).
“Developing safe and effective treatment options for cancer is a top priority for Takeda, and we continue to look for ways to address the unmet needs of the lung cancer community,” said Christopher Arendt, Head, Oncology Therapeutic Area Unit, Takeda. “Today’s positive CHMP opinion is an important step towards bringing ALUNBRIG to people living with ALK+ advanced NSCLC, and we look forward to continuing to work with the EMA as they review the application for ALUNBRIG as a first-line treatment of patients with this serious and rare form of lung cancer.”
“ALK+ NSCLC is a rarer form of lung cancer, and the needs of people impacted by it are multiple,” said Stefania Vallone, President of Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE). “Despite progress in recent years, there remains a need for additional first-line treatment options for the approximately 10,000 people with ALK+ NSCLC in Europe.”
The positive opinion for ALUNBRIG will now be reviewed by the European Commission (EC) for Commission Decision. ALUNBRIG is currently not approved as a therapy for first-line ALK+ NSCLC.
The Phase 3 ALTA-1L (ALK in Lung Cancer Trial of BrigAtinib in 1st Line) trial of ALUNBRIG in adults is a global, ongoing, randomized, open-label, comparative, multicenter trial, which enrolled 275 patients (ALUNBRIG, n=137, crizotinib, n=138) with ALK+ locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC who have not received prior treatment with an ALK inhibitor. Patients received either ALUNBRIG, 180 mg once daily with seven-day lead-in at 90 mg once daily, or crizotinib, 250 mg twice daily.
The median age was 58 years in the ALUNBRIG arm and 60 years in the crizotinib arm. Twenty-nine percent of patients had brain metastases at baseline in the ALUNBRIG arm versus 30% in the crizotinib arm. Twenty-six percent of patients received prior chemotherapy for advanced or metastatic disease in the ALUNBRIG arm versus 27% in the crizotinib arm.
Blinded independent review committee (BIRC)-assessed progression-free survival (PFS) was the primary endpoint. Secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR) per RECIST v1.1, intracranial ORR, intracranial PFS, overall survival (OS), safety and tolerability.
The safety profile of ALUNBRIG in the ALTA-1L trial was generally consistent with the existing European summary of product characteristics (SmPC).
ALUNBRIG is a potent and selective next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) that was designed to target and inhibit anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) genetic alterations. In April 2017, ALUNBRIG received Accelerated Approval from the U.S. FDA for ALK+ metastatic NSCLC patients who have progressed on or are intolerant to crizotinib. This indication is approved under Accelerated Approval based on tumor response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.
ALUNBRIG is currently approved in more than 40 countries, including the U.S., Canada and the European Union, for the treatment of people living with ALK+ metastatic NSCLC who have taken the medicine crizotinib, but their NSCLC has worsened or they cannot tolerate taking crizotinib.
ALUNBRIG received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA for the treatment of patients with ALK+ NSCLC whose tumors are resistant to crizotinib and was granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA for the treatment of ALK+ NSCLC, ROS1+ and EGFR+ NSCLC.
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common form of lung cancer, accounting for approximately 85% of the estimated 1.8 million new cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.1,2 Genetic studies indicate that chromosomal rearrangements in anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) are key drivers in a subset of NSCLC patients.3 Approximately three to five percent of patients with metastatic NSCLC have a rearrangement in the ALK gene.4,5,6
Takeda is committed to continuing research and development in NSCLC to improve the lives of the approximately 40,000 patients diagnosed with this serious and rare form of lung cancer worldwide each year.7
Takeda is dedicated to expanding treatment options in the ALK+ NSCLC and EGFR/HER2 mutant NSCLC treatment landscapes. Our comprehensive programs include the following clinical trials to continue to address unmet needs for people living with lung cancer:
TAK-788, a selective inhibitor of EGFR/HER2 mutations, currently being explored in EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations:
For additional information on the ALUNBRIG and TAK-788 clinical trials, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
SPECIAL WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS FOR USE
Pulmonary Adverse Reactions: Severe, life-threatening, and fatal pulmonary adverse reactions, including those with features consistent with ILD/pneumonitis, can occur. Most pulmonary adverse reactions were observed within the first 7 days of treatment. Grade 1-2 pulmonary adverse reactions resolved with interruption of treatment or dose modification. Increased age and shorter interval (less than 7 days) between the last dose of crizotinib and the first dose of ALUNBRIG were independently associated with an increased rate of these pulmonary adverse reactions. Consider these factors when initiating treatment with ALUNBRIG. Some patients experienced pneumonitis later in treatment with ALUNBRIG. Patients should be monitored for new or worsening respiratory symptoms (e.g., dyspnoea, cough, etc.), particularly in the first week of treatment. Evidence of pneumonitis in any patient with worsening respiratory symptoms should be promptly investigated. If pneumonitis is suspected, the dose of ALUNBRIG should be withheld, and the patient evaluated for other causes of symptoms (e.g., pulmonary embolism, tumour progression, and infectious pneumonia). The dose should be modified accordingly.
Hypertension has occurred. Blood pressure should be monitored regularly during treatment with ALUNBRIG. Hypertension should be treated according to standard guidelines to control blood pressure. Heart rate should be monitored more frequently in patients if concomitant use of a medication known to cause bradycardia cannot be avoided. For severe hypertension (≥ Grade 3), ALUNBRIG should be withheld until hypertension has recovered to Grade 1 or to baseline. The dose should be modified accordingly.
Bradycardia has occurred. Caution should be exercised when administering ALUNBRIG in combination with other agents known to cause bradycardia. Heart rate and blood pressure should be monitored regularly. Treatment with ALUNBRIG should be withheld if symptomatic bradycardia occurs. Concomitant medications known to cause bradycardia should be evaluated. Upon recovery, dose should be modified accordingly. In case of life-threatening bradycardia, permanently discontinue ALUNBRIG if no contributing concomitant medication is identified or in the case of recurrence. If contributing concomitant medication is identified, modify dose accordingly.
Visual Disturbance has occurred with ALUNBRIG. Patients should be advised to report any visual symptoms. For new or worsening severe visual symptoms, an ophthalmologic evaluation and dose reduction should be considered.
Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK) Elevation has been reported. Advise patients to report any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. Monitor CPK levels regularly during treatment. Based on the severity of the CPK elevation, withhold treatment with ALUNBRIG and modify dose accordingly.
Pancreatic Enzyme Elevation: Elevations of amylase and lipase have occurred. Lipase and amylase should be monitored regularly during treatment with ALUNBRIG. Based on the severity of the laboratory abnormalities, withhold ALUNBRIG and modify dose accordingly.
Hepatotoxicity: Elevations of hepatic enzymes (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase) and bilirubin have occurred. Liver function, including AST, ALT and total bilirubin should be assessed prior to the initiation of ALUNBRIG and then every 2 weeks during the first 3 months of treatment. Thereafter, monitoring should be performed periodically. Based on the severity of the laboratory abnormalities, withhold ALUNBRIG and modify dose accordingly.
Hyperglycemia: Elevations of serum glucose have occurred. Fasting serum glucose should be assessed prior to initiation of ALUNBRIG and monitored periodically thereafter. Antihyperglycaemic treatment should be initiated or optimised as needed. If adequate hyperglycaemic control cannot be achieved with optimal medical management, ALUNBRIG should be withheld until adequate hyperglycaemic control is achieved; upon recovery reducing the dose may be considered or ALUNBRIG may be permanently discontinued.
Drug interactions: Concomitant use of ALUNBRIG with strong CYP3A inhibitors should be avoided. If concomitant use of strong CYP3A inhibitors cannot be avoided, reduce dose of ALUNBRIG from 180 mg to 90 mg, or from 90 mg to 60 mg. After discontinuation of a strong CYP3A inhibitor, ALUNBRIG should be resumed at the dose that was tolerated prior to the initiation of the strong CYP3A inhibitor. The concomitant use of ALUNBRIG with strong and moderate CYP3A inducers should be avoided.
Fertility: Women of childbearing potential should be advised to use effective non-hormonal contraception during treatment with ALUNBRIG and for at least 4 months following the final dose. Men with female partners of childbearing potential should be advised to use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose of ALUNBRIG
Lactose: ALUNBRIG contains lactose monohydrate. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose
intolerance, total lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medication.
The most common adverse reactions (≥ 25%) reported in patients treated with ALUNBRIG at the recommended dosing regimen were increased AST, hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinaemia, anaemia, increased CPK, nausea, increased lipase, decreased lymphocyte count, increased ALT, diarrhoea, increased amylase, fatigue, cough, headache, increased alkaline phosphatase, hypophosphataemia, increased APTT, rash, vomiting, dyspnoea, hypertension, decreased white blood cell count, myalgia, and peripheral neuropathy.
The most common serious adverse reactions (≥ 2%) reported in patients treated with ALUNBRIG at the recommended dosing regimen other than events related to neoplasm progression were pneumonitis, pneumonia, and dyspnoea.
Elderly patients: The limited data on the safety and efficacy of ALUNBRIG in patients aged 65 years and
older suggest that a dose adjustment is not required in elderly patients. There are no available data on patients over 85 years of age.
Hepatic impairment: No dose adjustment of ALUNBRIG is required for patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class A) or moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class B). A reduced starting dose of 60 mg once daily for the first 7 days, then 120 mg once daily is recommended for patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class C).
Renal impairment: No dose adjustment of ALUNBRIG is required for patients with mild or moderate renal impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≥ 30 mL/min). A reduced starting dose of 60 mg once daily for the first 7 days, then 90 mg once daily is recommended for patients with severe renal impairment (eGFR < 30 mL/min). Patients with severe renal impairment should be closely monitored for new or worsening respiratory symptoms that may indicate ILD/pneumonitis (e.g., dyspnoea, cough, etc.) particularly in the first week.
Paediatric population: The safety and efficacy of ALUNBRIG in patients less than 18 years of age have not been established. No data are available.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)/Pneumonitis: Severe, life-threatening, and fatal pulmonary adverse reactions consistent with interstitial lung disease (ILD)/pneumonitis have occurred with ALUNBRIG. In Trial ALTA (ALTA), ILD/pneumonitis occurred in 3.7% of patients in the 90 mg group (90 mg once daily) and 9.1% of patients in the 90→180 mg group (180 mg once daily with 7-day lead-in at 90 mg once daily). Adverse reactions consistent with possible ILD/pneumonitis occurred early (within 9 days of initiation of ALUNBRIG; median onset was 2 days) in 6.4% of patients, with Grade 3 to 4 reactions occurring in 2.7%. Monitor for new or worsening respiratory symptoms (e.g., dyspnea, cough, etc.), particularly during the first week of initiating ALUNBRIG. Withhold ALUNBRIG in any patient with new or worsening respiratory symptoms, and promptly evaluate for ILD/pneumonitis or other causes of respiratory symptoms (e.g., pulmonary embolism, tumor progression, and infectious pneumonia). For Grade 1 or 2 ILD/pneumonitis, either resume ALUNBRIG with dose reduction after recovery to baseline or permanently discontinue ALUNBRIG. Permanently discontinue ALUNBRIG for Grade 3 or 4 ILD/pneumonitis or recurrence of Grade 1 or 2 ILD/pneumonitis.
Hypertension: In ALTA, hypertension was reported in 11% of patients in the 90 mg group who received ALUNBRIG and 21% of patients in the 90→180 mg group. Grade 3 hypertension occurred in 5.9% of patients overall. Control blood pressure prior to treatment with ALUNBRIG. Monitor blood pressure after 2 weeks and at least monthly thereafter during treatment with ALUNBRIG. Withhold ALUNBRIG for Grade 3 hypertension despite optimal antihypertensive therapy. Upon resolution or improvement to Grade 1 severity, resume ALUNBRIG at a reduced dose. Consider permanent discontinuation of treatment with ALUNBRIG for Grade 4 hypertension or recurrence of Grade 3 hypertension. Use caution when administering ALUNBRIG in combination with antihypertensive agents that cause bradycardia.
Bradycardia: Bradycardia can occur with ALUNBRIG. In ALTA, heart rates less than 50 beats per minute (bpm) occurred in 5.7% of patients in the 90 mg group and 7.6% of patients in the 90→180 mg group. Grade 2 bradycardia occurred in 1 (0.9%) patient in the 90 mg group. Monitor heart rate and blood pressure during treatment with ALUNBRIG. Monitor patients more frequently if concomitant use of drug known to cause bradycardia cannot be avoided. For symptomatic bradycardia, withhold ALUNBRIG and review concomitant medications for those known to cause bradycardia. If a concomitant medication known to cause bradycardia is identified and discontinued or dose adjusted, resume ALUNBRIG at the same dose following resolution of symptomatic bradycardia; otherwise, reduce the dose of ALUNBRIG following resolution of symptomatic bradycardia. Discontinue ALUNBRIG for life-threatening bradycardia if no contributing concomitant medication is identified.
Visual Disturbance: In ALTA, adverse reactions leading to visual disturbance including blurred vision, diplopia, and reduced visual acuity, were reported in 7.3% of patients treated with ALUNBRIG in the 90 mg group and 10% of patients in the 90→180 mg group. Grade 3 macular edema and cataract occurred in one patient each in the 90→180 mg group. Advise patients to report any visual symptoms. Withhold ALUNBRIG and obtain an ophthalmologic evaluation in patients with new or worsening visual symptoms of Grade 2 or greater severity. Upon recovery of Grade 2 or Grade 3 visual disturbances to Grade 1 severity or baseline, resume ALUNBRIG at a reduced dose. Permanently discontinue treatment with ALUNBRIG for Grade 4 visual disturbances.
Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK) Elevation: In ALTA, creatine phosphokinase (CPK) elevation occurred in 27% of patients receiving ALUNBRIG in the 90 mg group and 48% of patients in the 90 mg→180 mg group. The incidence of Grade 3‑4 CPK elevation was 2.8% in the 90 mg group and 12% in the 90→180 mg group. Dose reduction for CPK elevation occurred in 1.8% of patients in the 90 mg group and 4.5% in the 90→180 mg group. Advise patients to report any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. Monitor CPK levels during ALUNBRIG treatment. Withhold ALUNBRIG for Grade 3 or 4 CPK elevation. Upon resolution or recovery to Grade 1 or baseline, resume ALUNBRIG at the same dose or at a reduced dose.
Pancreatic Enzyme Elevation: In ALTA, amylase elevation occurred in 27% of patients in the 90 mg group and 39% of patients in the 90→180 mg group. Lipase elevations occurred in 21% of patients in the 90 mg group and 45% of patients in the 90→180 mg group. Grade 3 or 4 amylase elevation occurred in 3.7% of patients in the 90 mg group and 2.7% of patients in the 90→180 mg group. Grade 3 or 4 lipase elevation occurred in 4.6% of patients in the 90 mg group and 5.5% of patients in the 90→180 mg group. Monitor lipase and amylase during treatment with ALUNBRIG. Withhold ALUNBRIG for Grade 3 or 4 pancreatic enzyme elevation. Upon resolution or recovery to Grade 1 or baseline, resume ALUNBRIG at the same dose or at a reduced dose.
Hyperglycemia: In ALTA, 43% of patients who received ALUNBRIG experienced new or worsening hyperglycemia. Grade 3 hyperglycemia, based on laboratory assessment of serum fasting glucose levels, occurred in 3.7% of patients. Two of 20 (10%) patients with diabetes or glucose intolerance at baseline required initiation of insulin while receiving ALUNBRIG. Assess fasting serum glucose prior to initiation of ALUNBRIG and monitor periodically thereafter. Initiate or optimize anti-hyperglycemic medications as needed. If adequate hyperglycemic control cannot be achieved with optimal medical management, withhold ALUNBRIG until adequate hyperglycemic control is achieved and consider reducing the dose of ALUNBRIG or permanently discontinuing ALUNBRIG.
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals, ALUNBRIG can cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. There are no clinical data on the use of ALUNBRIG in pregnant women. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective non-hormonal contraception during treatment with ALUNBRIG and for at least 4 months following the final dose. Advise males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose of ALUNBRIG.
Serious adverse reactions occurred in 38% of patients in the 90 mg group and 40% of patients in the 90→180 mg group. The most common serious adverse reactions were pneumonia (5.5% overall, 3.7% in the 90 mg group, and 7.3% in the 90→180 mg group) and ILD/pneumonitis (4.6% overall, 1.8% in the 90 mg group and 7.3% in the 90→180 mg group). Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 3.7% of patients and consisted of pneumonia (2 patients), sudden death, dyspnea, respiratory failure, pulmonary embolism, bacterial meningitis and urosepsis (1 patient each).
The most common adverse reactions (≥25%) in the 90 mg group were nausea (33%), fatigue (29%),
headache (28%), and dyspnea (27%) and in the 90→180 mg group were nausea (40%), diarrhea (38%), fatigue (36%), cough (34%), and headache (27%).
CYP3A Inhibitors: Avoid coadministration of ALUNBRIG with strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitors. Avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice as it may also increase plasma concentrations of brigatinib. If coadministration of a strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitor cannot be avoided, reduce the dose of ALUNBRIG.
CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration of ALUNBRIG with strong or moderate CYP3A inducers. If coadministration of moderate CYP3A inducers cannot be avoided, increase the dose of ALUNBRIG
CYP3A Substrates: Coadministration of ALUNBRIG with sensitive CYP3A substrates, including hormonal contraceptives, can result in decreased concentrations and loss of efficacy of sensitive CYP3A substrates.
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy: ALUNBRIG can cause fetal harm. Advise females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus.
Lactation: There are no data regarding the secretion of brigatinib in human milk or its effects on the breastfed infant or milk production. Because of the potential adverse reactions in breastfed infants, advise lactating women not to breastfeed during treatment with ALUNBRIG.
Females and Males of Reproductive Potential:
Pregnancy Testing: Verify pregnancy status in females of reproductive potential prior to initiating ALUNBRIG
Contraception: Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective non-hormonal contraception during treatment with ALUNBRIG and for at least 4 months after the final dose. Advise males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with ALUNBRIG and for at least 3 months after the final dose.
Infertility: ALUNBRIG may cause reduced fertility in males.
Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness of ALUNBRIG in pediatric patients have not been established.
Geriatric Use: Clinical studies of ALUNBRIG did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 years and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients.
Hepatic or Renal Impairment: No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment or mild or moderate renal impairment. Reduce the dose of ALUNBRIG for patients with severe hepatic impairment or severe renal impairment.
Please see the full U.S. Prescribing Information for ALUNBRIG at www.ALUNBRIG.com
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Diseases, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people's lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries.
For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com.
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