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Three companies to evaluate the combination of Bayer’s kinase inhibitor Stivarga and BMS’s Opdivo

  • Combination of regorafenib and nivolumab vs. regorafenib alone to be evaluated in patients with micro-satellite stable metastatic colorectal cancer
  • Companies plan indication-seeking trial

WHIPPANY, N.J. & PRINCETON, N.J. & OSAKA, Japan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$BMY–Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Ono”) announced today the three companies have entered into a clinical collaboration agreement to evaluate the combination of Bayer’s kinase inhibitor Stivarga® (regorafenib) and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s / Ono’s anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, Opdivo® (nivolumab) in patients with micro-satellite stable metastatic colorectal cancer (MSS mCRC), the most common form of mCRC.1

Regorafenib as monotherapy has demonstrated an overall survival benefit versus placebo in the pivotal Phase III CORRECT study and has shown activity irrespective of micro-satellite status in a retrospective analysis from this study, though with limited responses observed.2,3 Despite progress in the treatment of CRC, including the advance of effective immuno-oncology (I-O) treatments for certain subsets of CRC, around 95% of mCRC patients have MSS tumors, for which I-O monotherapy treatment approaches have shown limited activity.4 Thus, the need for additional treatment options including combination approaches remains high.4 Encouraging early data have been seen with the combination of regorafenib and nivolumab. In a Phase 1b investigator sponsored trial from Japan called REGONIVO (NCT03406871, EPOC1603), the combination of regorafenib and nivolumab has shown promising preliminary efficacy results.1 The detailed data of the study were presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

The data seen in REGONIVO warrant further exploration of the combination of regorafenib and nivolumab in patients with colorectal cancer. Regorafenib has proven its efficacy and positive safety profile as a third-line monotherapy and we are excited to enter into a clinical collaboration to evaluate this combination with the hope to deliver an additional therapeutic benefit to patients,” said Scott Z. Fields, M.D., senior vice president and head of Oncology Development at Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division.

We continue to invest in innovative approaches to maximize the potential of our pipeline, and interrogate new combinations to help more patients with cancers typically not responsive to I-O therapy,” said Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of development, oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are looking forward to a strong collaboration to investigate nivolumab with regorafenib, with the goal of serving more patients who have cancer.”

We have been actively engaged in the development of nivolumab including combination therapies with other agents. We are excited to initiate the clinical collaboration with Bayer and Bristol-Myers Squibb to investigate this combination therapy as a new treatment option for patients with colorectal cancer and other types of cancer,” said Kiyoaki Idemitsu, Corporate Officer, Executive Director, Clinical Development, Ono.

Further terms of the clinical collaboration were not disclosed.

About Colorectal Cancer5

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. In the U.S., it is currently the third most common cancer diagnosed and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths when estimates for men and women are combined. In 2019, an estimated 145,600 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. General estimates predict that 1 in 23 will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime.

About Stivarga® (regorafenib)6

In April 2017, Stivarga was approved for use in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who have been previously treated with Nexavar® (sorafenib). In the United States, Stivarga is also indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) who have been previously treated with fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based chemotherapy, an anti-VEGF therapy, and, if RAS wild-type, an anti-EGFR therapy. It is also indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) who have been previously treated with imatinib mesylate and sunitinib malate.

Regorafenib is a compound developed by Bayer. In 2011, Bayer entered into an agreement with Onyx, now an Amgen subsidiary, under which Onyx receives a royalty on all global net sales of regorafenib in oncology.

Important Safety Information for Stivarga6

WARNING: HEPATOTOXICITY

• Severe and sometimes fatal hepatotoxicity has occurred in clinical trials.
• Monitor hepatic function prior to and during treatment.
• Interrupt and then reduce or discontinue STIVARGA for hepatotoxicity as manifested by elevated liver function tests or hepatocellular necrosis, depending upon severity and persistence.

Hepatotoxicity: Severe drug-induced liver injury with fatal outcome occurred in STIVARGA-treated patients across all clinical trials. In most cases, liver dysfunction occurred within the first 2 months of therapy and was characterized by a hepatocellular pattern of injury. In metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), fatal hepatic failure occurred in 1.6% of patients in the STIVARGA arm and in 0.4% of patients in the placebo arm. In gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), fatal hepatic failure occurred in 0.8% of patients in the STIVARGA arm. In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), there was no increase in the incidence of fatal hepatic failure as compared to placebo.

Liver Function Monitoring: Obtain liver function tests (ALT, AST, and bilirubin) before initiation of STIVARGA and monitor at least every 2 weeks during the first 2 months of treatment. Thereafter, monitor monthly or more frequently as clinically indicated. Monitor liver function tests weekly in patients experiencing elevated liver function tests until improvement to less than 3 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) or baseline values. Temporarily hold and then reduce or permanently discontinue STIVARGA, depending on the severity and persistence of hepatotoxicity as manifested by elevated liver function tests or hepatocellular necrosis.

Infections: STIVARGA caused an increased risk of infections. The overall incidence of infection (Grades 1-5) was higher (32% vs 17%) in 1142 STIVARGA-treated patients as compared to the control arm in randomized placebo-controlled trials. The incidence of grade 3 or greater infections in STIVARGA treated patients was 9%. The most common infections were urinary tract infections (5.7%), nasopharyngitis (4.0%), mucocutaneous and systemic fungal infections (3.3%) and pneumonia (2.6%). Fatal outcomes caused by infection occurred more often in patients treated with STIVARGA (1.0%) as compared to patients receiving placebo (0.3%); the most common fatal infections were respiratory (0.6% vs 0.2%). Withhold STIVARGA for Grade 3 or 4 infections, or worsening infection of any grade. Resume STIVARGA at the same dose following resolution of infection.

Hemorrhage: STIVARGA caused an increased incidence of hemorrhage. The overall incidence (Grades 1-5) was 18.2% in 1142 patients treated with STIVARGA vs 9.5% with placebo in randomized, placebo-controlled trials. The incidence of grade 3 or greater hemorrhage in patients treated with STIVARGA was 3.0%. The incidence of fatal hemorrhagic events was 0.7%, involving the central nervous system or the respiratory, gastrointestinal, or genitourinary tracts. Permanently discontinue STIVARGA in patients with severe or life-threatening hemorrhage and monitor INR levels more frequently in patients receiving warfarin.

Gastrointestinal Perforation or Fistula: Gastrointestinal perforation occurred in 0.6% of 4518 patients treated with STIVARGA across all clinical trials of STIVARGA administered as a single agent; this included eight fatal events. Gastrointestinal fistula occurred in 0.8% of patients treated with STIVARGA and in 0.2% of patients in the placebo arm across randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Permanently discontinue STIVARGA in patients who develop gastrointestinal perforation or fistula.

Dermatological Toxicity: In randomized, placebo-controlled trials, adverse skin reactions occurred in 71.9% of patients with STIVARGA arm and 25.5% of patients in the placebo arm including hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR) also known as palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (PPES) and severe rash, requiring dose modification. In the randomized, placebo-controlled trials, the overall incidence of HFSR was higher in 1142 STIVARGA-treated patients (53% vs 8%) than in the placebo-treated patients. Most cases of HFSR in STIVARGA-treated patients appeared during the first cycle of treatment. The incidences of Grade 3 HFSR (16% vs <1%), Grade 3 rash (3% vs <1%), serious adverse reactions of erythema multiforme (<0.1% vs 0%), and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (<0.1% vs 0%) were higher in STIVARGA-treated patients. Across all trials, a higher incidence of HFSR was observed in Asian patients treated with STIVARGA (all grades: 72%; Grade 3:18%). Toxic epidermal necrolysis occurred in 0.02% of 4518 STIVARGA-treated patients across all clinical trials of STIVARGA administered as a single agent. Withhold STIVARGA, reduce the dose, or permanently discontinue depending on the severity and persistence of dermatologic toxicity.

Hypertension: Hypertensive crisis occurred in 0.2% in STIVARGA-treated patients and in none of the patients in placebo arm across all randomized, placebo-controlled trials. STIVARGA caused an increased incidence of hypertension (30% vs 8% in mCRC, 59% vs 27% in GIST, and 31% vs 6% in HCC). The onset of hypertension occurred during the first cycle of treatment in most patients who developed hypertension (67% in randomized, placebo-controlled trials). Do not initiate STIVARGA until blood pressure is adequately controlled. Monitor blood pressure weekly for the first 6 weeks of treatment and then every cycle, or more frequently, as clinically indicated. Temporarily or permanently withhold STIVARGA for severe or uncontrolled hypertension.

Cardiac Ischemia and Infarction: STIVARGA increased the incidence of myocardial ischemia and infarction (0.9% with STIVARGA vs 0.2% with placebo) in randomized placebo-controlled trials. Withhold STIVARGA in patients who develop new or acute cardiac ischemia or infarction, and resume only after resolution of acute cardiac ischemic events if the potential benefits outweigh the risks of further cardiac ischemia.

Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS): Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS), a syndrome of subcortial vasogenic edema diagnosed by characteristic finding on MRI occurred in one of 4800 STIVARGA-treated patients across all clinical trials. Perform an evaluation for RPLS in any patient presenting with seizures, severe headache, visual disturbances, confusion, or altered mental function. Discontinue STIVARGA in patients who develop RPLS.

Wound Healing Complications: Treatment with STIVARGA should be stopped at least 2 weeks prior to scheduled surgery. Resuming treatment after surgery should be based on clinical judgment of adequate wound healing. STIVARGA should be discontinued in patients with wound dehiscence.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: STIVARGA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. There are no available data on STIVARGA use in pregnant women. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential and males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with STIVARGA and for 2 months after the final dose.

Nursing Mothers: Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants from STIVARGA, do not breastfeed during treatment with STIVARGA and for 2 weeks after the final dose.

Most Frequently Observed Adverse Drug Reactions in mCRC (≥30%): The most frequently observed adverse drug reactions (≥30%) in STIVARGA-treated patients vs placebo-treated patients in mCRC, respectively, were: asthenia/fatigue (64% vs 46%), pain (59% vs 48%), decreased appetite and food intake (47% vs 28%), HFSR/PPE (45% vs 7%), diarrhea (43% vs 17%), mucositis (33% vs 5%), weight loss (32% vs 10%), infection (31% vs 17%), hypertension (30% vs 8%), and dysphonia (30% vs 6%).

Most Frequently Observed Adverse Drug Reactions in GIST (≥30%): The most frequently observed adverse drug reactions (≥30%) in STIVARGA-treated patients vs placebo-treated patients in GIST, respectively, were: HFSR/PPE (67% vs 12%), pain (60% vs 55%), hypertension (59% vs 27%), asthenia/fatigue (52% vs 39%), diarrhea (47% vs 9%), mucositis (40% vs 8%), dysphonia (39% vs 9%), infection (32% vs 5%), decreased appetite and food intake (31% vs 21%), and rash (30% vs 3%).

Most Frequently Observed Adverse Drug Reactions in HCC (≥30%): The most frequently observed adverse drug reactions (≥30%) in STIVARGA-treated patients vs placebo-treated patients in HCC, respectively, were: pain (55% vs 44%), HFSR/PPE (51% vs 7%), asthenia/fatigue (42% vs 33%), diarrhea (41% vs 15%), hypertension (31% vs 6%), infection (31% vs 18%), decreased appetite and food intake (31% vs 15%).

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning for Stivarga (regorafenib).

About Oncology at Bayer

Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The oncology franchise at Bayer includes five marketed products and several other assets in various stages of clinical development. Together, these products reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way that cancer is treated.

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.

About Opdivo® (nivolumab)

Opdivo is a programmed death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor that is designed to uniquely harness the body’s own immune system to help restore anti-tumor immune response. By harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, Opdivo has become an important treatment option across multiple cancers.

Opdivo’s development program includes a broad range of clinical trials across all phases, including Phase 3, in a variety of tumor types. To date, the Opdivo clinical development program has enrolled more than 25,000 patients. The Opdivo trials have contributed to gaining a deeper understanding of the potential role of biomarkers in patient care, particularly regarding how patients may benefit from Opdivo across the continuum of PD-L1 expression.

In July 2014, Opdivo was the first PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor to receive regulatory approval anywhere in the world. Opdivo is currently approved in more than 65 countries, including the United States, the European Union, Japan and China. In October 2015, the Company’s Opdivo and Yervoy combination regimen was the first Immuno-Oncology combination to receive regulatory approval for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and is currently approved in more than 50 countries, including the United States and the European Union.

U.S. FDA-APPROVED INDICATIONS FOR OPDIVO®7

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) as a single agent is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab), is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients with EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations should have disease progression on FDA-approved therapy for these aberrations prior to receiving OPDIVO.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC) with progression after platinum-based chemotherapy and at least one other line of therapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who have received prior anti-angiogenic therapy.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab), is indicated for the treatment of patients with intermediate or poor risk, previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) that has relapsed or progressed after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and brentuximab vedotin or after 3 or more lines of systemic therapy that includes autologous HSCT. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy. 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 confirmatory trials.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), as a single agent, is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric (12 years and older) patients with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) that has progressed following treatment with a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab), in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab), is indicated for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) that has progressed following treatment with a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is indicated for the adjuvant treatment of patients with melanoma with involvement of lymph nodes or metastatic disease who have undergone complete resection.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: IMMUNE-MEDIATED ADVERSE REACTIONS

YERVOY can result in severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions. These immune-mediated reactions may involve any organ system; however, the most common severe immune-mediated adverse reactions are enterocolitis, hepatitis, dermatitis (including toxic epidermal necrolysis), neuropathy, and endocrinopathy. The majority of these immune-mediated reactions initially manifested during treatment; however, a minority occurred weeks to months after discontinuation of YERVOY.

Assess patients for signs and symptoms of enterocolitis, dermatitis, neuropathy, and endocrinopathy, and evaluate clinical chemistries including liver function tests (LFTs), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level, and thyroid function tests, at baseline and before each dose.

Permanently discontinue YERVOY and initiate systemic high-dose corticosteroid therapy for severe immune-mediated reactions.

Immune-Mediated Pneumonitis

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis. Fatal cases have been reported. Monitor patients for signs with radiographic imaging and for symptoms of pneumonitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or more severe pneumonitis. Permanently discontinue for Grade 3 or 4 and withhold until resolution for Grade 2. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, fatal cases of immune-mediated pneumonitis have occurred. Immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 3.1% (61/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg, immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 6% (25/407) of patients. In RCC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 4.4% (24/547) of patients. In MSI-H/dMMR mCRC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 1.7% (2/119) of patients.

In Checkmate 205 and 039, pneumonitis, including interstitial lung disease, occurred in 6.0% (16/266) of patients receiving OPDIVO. Immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 4.9% (13/266) of patients receiving OPDIVO: Grade 3 (n=1) and Grade 2 (n=12).

Immune-Mediated Colitis

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated colitis. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of colitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 (of more than 5 days duration), 3, or 4 colitis. Withhold OPDIVO monotherapy for Grade 2 or 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 or recurrent colitis upon re-initiation of OPDIVO. When administered with YERVOY, withhold OPDIVO and YERVOY for Grade 2 and permanently discontinue for Grade 3 or 4 or recurrent colitis. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, immune-mediated colitis occurred in 2.9% (58/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg, immune-mediated colitis occurred in 26% (107/407) of patients including three fatal cases.

Contacts

Bayer Media Inquiries:

Rose Talarico

862-404-5302

[email protected]

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Media Inquiries:

Priyanka Shah

609-252-7956

[email protected]

Investors:

Tim Power

609-252-7509

[email protected]

ONO PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD.:

Corporate Communications

[email protected]

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