The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a Positive Opinion recommending marketing authorisation for IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) to include the combination with rituximab for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).
The Positive Opinion is based on data from the Phase 3 E1912 study, designed and conducted in the United States (U.S.) by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (ECOG-ACRIN) and sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The study evaluated 529 patients with previously untreated CLL aged 70 years or younger (median age 58) who were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive ibrutinib plus rituximab (n=354) or the standard of care chemo-immunotherapy fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR) (n=175). The primary study results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine, and the extended four-year median follow-up results were presented at the 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.
“Ibrutinib in combination with rituximab represents an important new targeted and non-chemotherapy option for patients with CLL,” said John Gribben, MD DSc, Professor of Medical Oncology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary, University of London. “For people living with CLL, relapse is often inevitable. Using this combination in the frontline setting has the potential to not only extend life, but also offer a tolerability profile with less of the known chemotherapy-related events.”
The CHMP Positive Opinion comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of this expanded indication for ibrutinib in April 2020. The application will now be reviewed by the European Commission (EC).
“Ibrutinib has been used to treat more than 200,000 people globally, and this latest milestone further highlights its potential for patients diagnosed with CLL,” said Dr Patrick Laroche, Haematology Therapy Area Lead, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Janssen-Cilag. “We look forward to working with the European Commission to bring this new, ibrutinib-based, non-chemotherapy frontline treatment option to adult patients with CLL.”
“This landmark head-to-head study, conducted by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group and the National Cancer Institute has generated important, practice changing results which challenge FCR, the gold standard of chemotherapy-based treatment regimens for younger, fit patients with previously untreated CLL for over a decade,” said Craig Tendler, M.D., Vice President, Clinical Development and Global Medical Affairs, Oncology, Janssen Research & Development. “We are pleased to build upon the robust body of data supporting the most widely studied BTK inhibitor as we continue to study further ibrutinib-based regimens in our mission to improve the lives of patients with complex blood cancers, like CLL.”
Source: Company Press Release