FDA grants priority review for daratumumab in front line multiple myeloma

This article was originally published here

Published 22 January 2018

Genmab announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted priority review to the supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for the use of daratumumab (Darzalex) in combination with bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone to treat patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT).

The sBLA was submitted by Genmab’s licensing partner, Janssen Biotech, Inc., in November 2017. Priority Review is an FDA designation for drugs that treat a serious condition and may provide a significant improvement in safety or efficacy. 

The FDA has assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target date of May 21, 2018 to take a decision on daratumumab in this indication.  In August 2012, Genmab granted Janssen Biotech, Inc. an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize daratumumab.

“The granting of priority review to the submission of daratumumab in front line multiple myeloma is an important step forward towards potentially bringing this product to an even larger number of patients in need,” said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab.

The sBLA submission was based on data from the Phase III ALCYONE study of daratumumab in combination with bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone in front line multiple myeloma. This data was presented as a Late-Breaking Abstract at the 2017 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and published in The New England Journal of Medicine in December, 2017.

This Phase III study (NCT02195479) is a randomized, open-label, multicenter study and includes 706 newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).

Patients were randomized to receive 9 cycles of either VMP [bortezomib (a proteasome inhibitor), melphalan (an alkylating chemotherapeutic agent) and prednisone (a corticosteroid)] combined with daratumumab, or VMP alone. In the daratumumab treatment arm, patients received 16 mg/kg of daratumumab once weekly for six weeks (cycle 1; 1 cycle = 42 days), followed by once every three weeks (cycles 2-9).

Following the 9 cycles, patients in the daratumumab treatment arm continued to receive 16 mg/kg of daratumumab once every four weeks until disease progression.  The primary endpoint of the study is progression free survival (PFS).

Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and is characterized by an excess proliferation of plasma cells.1 Multiple myeloma is the third most common blood cancer in the U.S., after leukemia and lymphoma.2

Approximately 30,330 new patients were expected to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and approximately 12,650 people were expected to die from the disease in the U.S. in 2016.3 Globally, it was estimated that 124,225 people would be diagnosed and 87,084 would die from the disease in 2015.4 

While some patients with multiple myeloma have no symptoms at all, most patients are diagnosed due to symptoms which can include bone problems, low blood counts, calcium elevation, kidney problems or infections.5 Patients who relapse after treatment with standard therapies, including proteasome inhibitors or immunomodulatory agents, have poor prognoses and few treatment options.6

DARZALEX® (daratumumab) injection for intravenous infusion is indicated in the United States in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, or bortezomib and dexamethasone, for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy; in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies, including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor (PI); and as a monotherapy for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three prior lines of therapy, including a PI and an immunomodulatory agent, or who are double-refractory to a PI and an immunomodulatory agent.

Genmab is a publicly traded, international biotechnology company specializing in the creation and development of differentiated antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.

 Founded in 1999, the company has two approved antibodies, DARZALEX® (daratumumab) for the treatment of certain multiple myeloma indications, and Arzerra® (ofatumumab) for the treatment of certain chronic lymphocytic leukemia indications.  Daratumumab is in clinical development for additional multiple myeloma indications, other blood cancers, and solid tumors.

Source: Company Press Release

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