Novartis drug Afinitor® recommended by CHMP for European Union approval to treat select GI and lung neuroendocrine tumors
Apr 29, 2016
If approved, Afinitor would be first treatment in EU indicated for advanced progressive, nonfunctional lung NET and first oral therapy for this type of GI NET
Advanced, progressive, nonfunctional GI and lung neuroendocrine tumors (NET) are rare cancers with limited treatment options and poor outcomes[1,
CHMP positive opinion based on pivotal study showing everolimus significantly improved PFS and reduced risk of progression vs placebo
Basel, April 29, 2016- Novartis today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) adopted a positive opinion for Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic, well-differentiated (Grade 1 or Grade 2) nonfunctional neuroendocrine tumors (NET) of gastrointestinal (GI) or lung origin in adults with progressive disease. If approved by the European Commission (EC), Afinitor would address an unmet need as there are currently few or no treatment options in Europe for patients with these diseases.
"This important milestone reinforces our long-standing commitment to the NET community by providing solutions to help improve outcomes for patients with these rare and difficult-to-treat cancers," said Alessandro Riva, MD, Global Head, Novartis Oncology Development and Medical Affairs.
Neuroendocrine tumors are a type of cancer that originate in neuroendocrine cells throughout the body, and most commonly arise in the GI tract, lungs or pancreas,. NET can be defined as functional or nonfunctional. The majority of patients with NET (72%) have nonfunctional NET, which are characterized by symptoms caused by tumor growth, such as intestinal obstruction, pain and bleeding for GI NET, and asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia for lung NET,,,. In contrast, functional NET are characterized by symptoms caused by the oversecretion of hormones and other substances. Five to 44% (depending on site of tumor origin) of those with GI NET and 28% of those with lung NET have advanced disease at time of diagnosis, meaning the cancer has spread to other areas of the body and patients face limited treatment options,. Progression, or the continued growth or spread of the tumor, is typically associated with poor prognoses.
The positive CHMP opinion was based on efficacy and safety data from a pivotal Phase III study (RADIANT-4) showing everolimus reduced the risk of progression in patients with progressive, well-differentiated, nonfunctional, locally advanced or metastatic NET of GI or lung origin by 52% (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35-0.67; p<0.00001) vs placebo. Additionally, the data showed everolimus increased median progression-free survival (PFS) by 7.1 months: median PFS by central review was 11.0 months (95% CI, 9.2-13.3) in the everolimus arm and 3.9 months (95% CI, 3.6-7.4) in the placebo arm.
In the pivotal trial, the most common treatment-related grade 3/4 adverse events (AEs) (>=5%) for everolimus and placebo, respectively, were stomatitis (9.0% vs 0.0%), diarrhea (7.0% vs 2.0%) and infections (7.0% vs 0.0%). The most common treatment-related, all-grade AEs (incidence >=10%) were stomatitis (63%), diarrhea (31%), fatigue (31%), infections (29%), rash (27%) and peripheral edema (26%).
The EC typically adheres to the recommendation of the CHMP and delivers its final decision within three months. The decision will be applicable to all 28 European Union member states plus Iceland and Norway.
In February, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Afinitor for the treatment of adult patients with progressive, well-differentiated, nonfunctional NET of GI or lung origin that are unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic. Additional worldwide regulatory filings for this indication are underway.
RADIANT-4 Study Design RADIANT-4 (RAD001 In Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors) is a Phase III prospective, double-blind, randomized, parallel group, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. It examined the efficacy and safety of everolimus plus best supportive care (BSC) vs placebo plus BSC in 302 patients with unresectable, progressive, well-differentiated, nonfunctional, locally advanced or metastatic NET of GI (excluding pancreatic) or lung origin. The primary endpoint of RADIANT-4 was PFS based on independent radiological assessment evaluated by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. Secondary endpoints included overall survival and best overall response rate (defined as complete response plus partial response).
Patients were randomized 2:1 to receive a daily dose of 10 mg everolimus tablets or matching placebo. During treatment, all patients received BSC, which excluded somatostatin analogues (SSAs). Patients had low or intermediate grade histology, no history or active symptoms of carcinoid syndrome, and documented disease progression within the previous 6 months, and were required to have stopped treatment with SSAs for 4 weeks before study entry.
The safety profile of everolimus was consistent with what has been observed in previous oncology studies of this drug.
About Afinitor®(everolimus) tablets Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets is approved in 99 countries, including the US and in the European Union, for locally advanced, metastatic or unresectable progressive NET of pancreatic origin. Afinitor is not indicated for the treatment of patients with functional carcinoid tumors in the US. Afinitor is now approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult patients with progressive, well-differentiated, nonfunctional neuroendocrine tumors (NET) of gastrointestinal (GI) or lung origin that are unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic.
It is also approved in more than 120 countries including the US and European Union for advanced renal cell carcinoma following progression on or after vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy (in the US, specifically following sunitinib and sorafenib).
Additionally, Afinitor is approved in more than 100 countries including the United States and European Union for advanced HR+/HER2- breast cancer in combination with exemestane, after prior endocrine therapy.
Everolimus is also available from Novartis for use in certain non-oncology patient populations under the brand names Afinitor® or Votubia®, Certican® and Zortress® and is exclusively licensed to Abbott and sublicensed to Boston Scientific for use in drug-eluting stents.
Indications vary by country and not all indications are available in every country. The safety and efficacy profile of everolimus has not yet been established outside the approved indications. Because of the uncertainty of clinical trials, there is no guarantee that everolimus will become commercially available for additional indications anywhere else in the world.
Important Safety Information about Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets Afinitor/Votubia can cause serious side effects including lung or breathing problems, infections (including sepsis), and kidney failure, which can lead to death. Patients taking concomitant angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors may be at an increased risk for angioedema. Mouth ulcers and mouth sores are common side effects. Afinitor/Votubia can affect blood cell counts, kidney and liver function, and blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Afinitor/Votubia may cause fetal harm in pregnant women. Highly effective contraception is recommended for women of child-bearing potential while receiving Afinitor/Votubia and for up to eight weeks after ending treatment. Women taking Afinitor/Votubia should not breast feed. Fertility in women and men may be affected by treatment with Afinitor/Votubia.
The most common adverse drug reactions (incidence >=10 percent) are mouth ulcers, skin rash, feeling tired or weak, diarrhea, infections (including upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat and runny nose, sinusitis, middle ear infection and pneumonia), absence of menstrual periods, high levels of cholesterol, nausea, decreased appetite, low level of red blood cells, acne, abnormal taste, irregular menstrual periods, inflammation of lung tissue, swelling of extremities or other parts of the body, high level of blood sugar, itching, weight loss, nose bleeds, cough and headache. The most common grade 3-4 adverse drug reactions (incidence >=2 percent) are mouth ulcers, infections (including pneumonia), low level of red blood cells, absence of menstrual periods, high level of blood sugar, feeling tired or weak, diarrhea, low white blood cells, inflammation of lung tissue and spontaneous bleeding or bruising. Cases of hepatitis B reactivation, blood clots in the lung or legs, and pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) have been reported. Abnormalities were observed in hematology and clinical chemistry laboratory tests.
Disclaimer The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by words such as "recommended," "would," "positive opinion," "commitment," "recommendation," "will," "underway," "yet," or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential new indications or labeling for Afinitor, or regarding potential future revenues from Afinitor. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of management regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that Afinitor will be submitted or approved for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that Afinitor will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding Afinitor could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including unexpected clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the company's ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; general economic and industry conditions; global trends toward health care cost containment, including ongoing pricing pressures; unexpected safety issues; unexpected quality or manufacturing issues, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
About Novartis Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2015, the Group achieved net sales of USD 49.4 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 8.9 billion (USD 8.7 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 118,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.
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