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First immunotherapy combination to demonstrate superior clinical outcomes over standard of care in a global, randomized trial in this setting
WILMINGTON, Del., October 25, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Positive high-level results from the TOPAZ-1 Phase III trial showed IMFINZI® (durvalumab), in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy, demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful overall survival (OS) benefit versus chemotherapy alone as a 1st-line treatment for patients with advanced biliary tract cancer (BTC).
At a predefined interim analysis, the Independent Data Monitoring Committee concluded that the trial met the primary endpoint by demonstrating an improvement in OS in patients treated with IMFINZI plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone. The combination also demonstrated an improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall response rate, key secondary endpoints.
IMFINZI plus chemotherapy was well tolerated, had a similar safety profile versus the comparator arm and did not increase the discontinuation rate due to adverse events compared to chemotherapy alone.
BTC is a group of rare and aggressive cancers that occur in the bile ducts and gallbladder.1,2 Incidence of BTC often depends on the prevalence of common risk factors for each type within a geographical region1.
Approximately 50,000 people in the US, Europe and Japan and about 210,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with BTC each year.3-6 These patients have a poor prognosis, with approximately only 5% to 15% of all patients with BTC surviving five years.7 In December 2020, IMFINZI was granted Orphan Drug Designation in the US for the treatment of BTC.
Do-Youn Oh, MD, PhD, Professor, Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine at Seoul National University Hospital and Seoul National University College of Medicine, and principal investigator in the TOPAZ-1 Phase III trial, said: "Patients with advanced biliary tract cancer are in dire need of new treatments as progress in the 1st-line setting has remained largely stagnant for more than 10 years. TOPAZ-1 is the first Phase III trial to show that adding an immunotherapy to standard chemotherapy delivers a meaningful overall survival benefit for patients in this setting. Today’s exciting results are a major step forward in treating this disease and represent new hope for our patients."
Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, said: "We are delighted TOPAZ-1 has been unblinded early due to clear evidence of efficacy for IMFINZI plus chemotherapy, which has also demonstrated a strong safety profile. We have now delivered two positive gastrointestinal cancer trials in a row for IMFINZI, following the HIMALAYA trial in liver cancer. We believe the significant survival benefit demonstrated marks a new era of immunotherapy treatment in this devastating disease, and it advances our commitment to improving long-term survival for patients across these cancers where treatment options are limited."
The data will be presented at a forthcoming medical meeting and shared with health authorities.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
There are no contraindications for IMFINZI® (durvalumab).
Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
Important immune-mediated adverse reactions listed under Warnings and Precautions may not include all possible severe and fatal immune-mediated reactions. Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue. Immune-mediated adverse reactions can occur at any time after starting treatment or after discontinuation. Monitor patients closely for symptoms and signs that may be clinical manifestations of underlying immune-mediated adverse reactions. Evaluate liver enzymes, creatinine, and thyroid function at baseline and periodically during treatment. In cases of suspected immune-mediated adverse reactions, initiate appropriate workup to exclude alternative etiologies, including infection. Institute medical management promptly, including specialty consultation as appropriate. Withhold or permanently discontinue IMFINZI depending on severity. See Dosing and Administration for specific details. In general, if IMFINZI requires interruption or discontinuation, administer systemic corticosteroid therapy (1 mg to 2 mg/kg/day prednisone or equivalent) until improvement to Grade 1 or less. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Consider administration of other systemic immunosuppressants in patients whose immune-mediated adverse reactions are not controlled with corticosteroid therapy.
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis. The incidence of pneumonitis is higher in patients who have received prior thoracic radiation. In patients who did not receive recent prior radiation, the incidence of immune-mediated pneumonitis was 2.4% (34/1414), including fatal (<0.1%), and Grade 3-4 (0.4%) adverse reactions. In patients who received recent prior radiation, the incidence of pneumonitis (including radiation pneumonitis) in patients with unresectable Stage III NSCLC following definitive chemoradiation within 42 days prior to initiation of IMFINZI in PACIFIC was 18.3% (87/475) in patients receiving IMFINZI and 12.8% (30/234) in patients receiving placebo. Of the patients who received IMFINZI (475), 1.1% were fatal and 2.7% were Grade 3 adverse reactions. The frequency and severity of immune-mediated pneumonitis in patients who did not receive definitive chemoradiation prior to IMFINZI were similar in patients who received IMFINZI as a single agent or with ES-SCLC when in combination with chemotherapy.
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated colitis that is frequently associated with diarrhea. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection/reactivation has been reported in patients with corticosteroid-refractory immune-mediated colitis. In cases of corticosteroid-refractory colitis, consider repeating infectious workup to exclude alternative etiologies. Immune-mediated colitis occurred in 2% (37/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 4 (<0.1%) and Grade 3 (0.4%) adverse reactions.
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated hepatitis. Immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 2.8% (52/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including fatal (0.2%), Grade 4 (0.3%) and Grade 3 (1.4%) adverse reactions.
Adrenal Insufficiency: IMFINZI can cause primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency. For Grade 2 or higher adrenal insufficiency, initiate symptomatic treatment, including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Immune-mediated adrenal insufficiency occurred in 0.5% (9/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (<0.1%) adverse reactions.
Hypophysitis: IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated hypophysitis. Hypophysitis can present with acute symptoms associated with mass effect such as headache, photophobia, or visual field cuts. Hypophysitis can cause hypopituitarism. Initiate symptomatic treatment including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Grade 3 hypophysitis/hypopituitarism occurred in <0.1% (1/1889) of patients who received IMFINZI.
Thyroid Disorders: IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated thyroid disorders. Thyroiditis can present with or without endocrinopathy. Hypothyroidism can follow hyperthyroidism. Initiate hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism or institute medical management of hyperthyroidism as clinically indicated.
Thyroiditis: Immune-mediated thyroiditis occurred in 0.5% (9/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (<0.1%) adverse reactions.
Hyperthyroidism: Immune-mediated hyperthyroidism occurred in 2.1% (39/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI.
Hypothyroidism: Immune-mediated hypothyroidism occurred in 8.3% (156/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (<0.1%) adverse reactions.
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, which can present with diabetic ketoacidosis: Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of diabetes. Initiate treatment with insulin as clinically indicated. Grade 3 immune-mediated type 1 diabetes mellitus occurred in <0.1% (1/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI.
Immune-Mediated Nephritis with Renal Dysfunction
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Immune-mediated nephritis occurred in 0.5% (10/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (<0.1%) adverse reactions.
Immune-Mediated Dermatology Reactions
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated rash or dermatitis. Exfoliative dermatitis, including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), have occurred with PD-1/L-1 blocking antibodies. Topical emollients and/or topical corticosteroids may be adequate to treat mild to moderate non-exfoliative rashes. Immune-mediated rash or dermatitis occurred in 1.8% (34/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (0.4%) adverse reactions.
Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
The following clinically significant, immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred at an incidence of less than 1% each in patients who received IMFINZI or were reported with the use of other PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies.
Cardiac/vascular: Myocarditis, pericarditis, vasculitis.
Nervous system: Meningitis, encephalitis, myelitis and demyelination, myasthenic syndrome/myasthenia gravis (including exacerbation), Guillain-Barré syndrome, nerve paresis, autoimmune neuropathy.
Ocular: Uveitis, iritis, and other ocular inflammatory toxicities can occur. Some cases can be associated with retinal detachment. Various grades of visual impairment to include blindness can occur. If uveitis occurs in combination with other immune-mediated adverse reactions, consider a Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome, as this may require treatment with systemic steroids to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.
Gastrointestinal: Pancreatitis including increases in serum amylase and lipase levels, gastritis, duodenitis.
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: Myositis/polymyositis, rhabdomyolysis and associated sequelae including renal failure, arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatic.
Other (hematologic/immune): Hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (Kikuchi lymphadenitis), sarcoidosis, immune thrombocytopenia, solid organ transplant rejection.
IMFINZI can cause severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions. Monitor for signs and symptoms of infusion-related reactions. Interrupt, slow the rate of, or permanently discontinue IMFINZI based on the severity. See Dosing and Administration for specific details. For Grade 1 or 2 infusion-related reactions, consider using pre-medications with subsequent doses. Infusion-related reactions occurred in 2.2% (42/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (0.3%) adverse reactions.
Complications of Allogeneic HSCT after IMFINZI
Fatal and other serious complications can occur in patients who receive allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) before or after being treated with a PD-1/L-1 blocking antibody. Transplant-related complications include hyperacute graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after reduced intensity conditioning, and steroid-requiring febrile syndrome (without an identified infectious cause). These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between PD-1/L-1 blockade and allogeneic HSCT. Follow patients closely for evidence of transplant-related complications and intervene promptly. Consider the benefit versus risks of treatment with a PD-1/L-1 blocking antibody prior to or after an allogeneic HSCT.
Based on its mechanism of action and data from animal studies, IMFINZI can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with IMFINZI and for at least 3 months after the last dose of IMFINZI.
There is no information regarding the presence of IMFINZI in human milk; however, because of the potential for adverse reactions in breastfed infants from IMFINZI, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose.
In patients with Stage III NSCLC in the PACIFIC study receiving IMFINZI (n=475), the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were cough (40%), fatigue (34%), pneumonitis or radiation pneumonitis (34%), upper respiratory tract infections (26%), dyspnea (25%), and rash (23%). The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥3%) were pneumonitis/radiation pneumonitis (3.4%) and pneumonia (7%)
In patients with Stage III NSCLC in the PACIFIC study receiving IMFINZI (n=475), discontinuation due to adverse reactions occurred in 15% of patients in the IMFINZI arm. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 29% of patients receiving IMFINZI. The most frequent serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were pneumonitis or radiation pneumonitis (7%) and pneumonia (6%). Fatal pneumonitis or radiation pneumonitis and fatal pneumonia occurred in <2% of patients and were similar across arms
In patients with extensive-stage SCLC in the CASPIAN study receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy (n=265), the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were nausea (34%), fatigue/asthenia (32%), and alopecia (31%). The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reaction (≥3%) was fatigue/asthenia (3.4%)
In patients with extensive-stage SCLC in the CASPIAN study receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy (n=265), IMFINZI was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 7% of the patients receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 31% of patients receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in at least 1% of patients were febrile neutropenia (4.5%), pneumonia (2.3%), anemia (1.9%), pancytopenia (1.5%), pneumonitis (1.1%), and COPD (1.1%). Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 4.9% of patients receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy
The safety and effectiveness of IMFINZI have not been established in pediatric patients.
IMFINZI is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has not progressed following concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
IMFINZI, in combination with etoposide and either carboplatin or cisplatin, is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC).
Please see complete Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.
About biliary tract cancer
Biliary tract cancer (BTC) is a group of rare and aggressive gastrointestinal (GI) cancers that form in the cells of the bile ducts (cholangiocarcinoma), gallbladder or ampulla of Vater (where the bile duct and pancreatic duct connect to the small intestine).1,2 Cholangiocarcinoma is more common in China and Thailand and is on the rise in Western countries.8-10 Gallbladder cancer is more common in certain regions of South America, India and Japan.11,12
Apart from ampullary cancer, early-stage BTC often presents without symptoms and most new cases of BTC are therefore diagnosed at an advanced stage, when treatment options are limited and the prognosis is poor.13,14
TOPAZ-1 is a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, multicenter, global Phase III trial of IMFINZI in combination with chemotherapy (gemcitabine plus cisplatin) versus placebo in combination with chemotherapy as a 1st-line treatment in 685 patients with unresectable advanced or metastatic BTC, including intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer (ampullary carcinoma was excluded).
The trial is being conducted in more than 145 centers across 17 countries including in the US, Europe, South America and several countries in Asia including South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and China. The primary endpoint is OS and key secondary endpoints include progression-free survival, objective response rate and safety.
About IMFINZI® (durvalumab)
IMFINZI is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-L1 protein and blocks the interaction of PD-L1 with PD-1 and CD80 proteins, countering the tumor’s immune-evading tactics and releasing the inhibition of immune responses.
IMFINZI is the only approved immunotherapy in the curative-intent setting of unresectable, Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients whose disease has not progressed after chemoradiation therapy and is the global standard of care in this setting based on the PACIFIC Phase III trial.
IMFINZI is also approved in the US, EU, Japan, China and many other countries around the world for the treatment of extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) based on the CASPIAN Phase III trial.
IMFINZI is also approved for previously treated patients with advanced bladder cancer in several countries. Since the first approval in May 2017, more than 100,000 patients have been treated with IMFINZI.
As part of a broad development program, IMFINZI is being tested as a single treatment and in combinations with other anti-cancer treatments for patients with SCLC, NSCLC, bladder cancer, liver cancer, BTC, esophageal cancer, gastric and gastroesophageal cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and other solid tumors.
About AstraZeneca Support Programs
AstraZeneca strives to ensure that appropriate patients and their oncologists have access to IMFINZI and relevant support resources. These include educational resources, an Oncology Nurse Educator program and affordability and reimbursement programs, such as Access 360™.
Additionally, AstraZeneca has launched Lighthouse, a program that provides support to patients during any immune-mediated adverse events they may encounter during treatment, through medically trained Lighthouse Advocates. The program aims to make patients’ treatment experience as comfortable as possible. Find out more about Lighthouse at LighthouseProgram.com or call 1-855-LHOUSE1(1-855-546-8731).
About AstraZeneca in GI cancers
AstraZeneca has a broad development program for the treatment of GI cancers across several medicines and a variety of tumor types and stages of disease. In 2020, GI cancers collectively represented approximately 5.1 million new cancer cases leading to approximately 3.6 million deaths worldwide.15
Within this program, the Company is committed to improving outcomes in gastric, liver, BTC, esophageal, pancreatic and colorectal cancers.
IMFINZI is being assessed in combinations in liver, BTC, esophageal and gastric cancers in an extensive development program spanning early to late-stage disease. In October 2021, the HIMALAYA Phase III trial in 1st-line unresectable liver cancer met its primary endpoint of overall survival with the STRIDE regimen, a single, high priming dose of tremelimumab plus Imfinzi every four weeks versus sorafenib.
The Company aims to understand the potential of fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki, a HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate, in the two most common GI cancers, colorectal and gastric cancers. Fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki is jointly developed and commercialized by AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo.
Olaparib is a first-in-class PARP inhibitor with a broad and advanced clinical trial program across multiple GI tumor types including pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Olaparib is developed and commercialized in collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, US (known as MSD outside the US and Canada).
About AstraZeneca in immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is a therapeutic approach designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack tumors. The Company’s Immuno-Oncology (IO) portfolio is anchored in immunotherapies that have been designed to overcome anti-tumor immune suppression. AstraZeneca is invested in using IO approaches that deliver long-term survival for new groups of patients across tumor types.
The Company is pursuing a comprehensive clinical-trial program that includes IMFINZI as a single treatment and in combination with tremelimumab and other novel antibodies in multiple tumor types, stages of disease and lines of treatment, and where relevant using the PD-L1 biomarker as a decision-making tool to define the best potential treatment path for a patient.
In addition, the ability to combine the IO portfolio with radiation, chemotherapy and targeted small molecules from across AstraZeneca’s Oncology pipeline and from research partners, may provide new treatment options across a broad range of tumors.
About AstraZeneca in oncology
AstraZeneca is leading a revolution in oncology with the ambition to provide cures for cancer in every form, following the science to understand cancer and all its complexities to discover, develop and deliver life-changing medicines to patients.
The Company’s focus is on some of the most challenging cancers. It is through persistent innovation that AstraZeneca has built one of the most diverse portfolios and pipelines in the industry, with the potential to catalyze changes in the practice of medicine and transform the patient experience.
AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer care and, one day, eliminate cancer as a cause of death.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.
1. Marcano-Bonilla L, et al. Biliary tract cancers: epidemiology, molecular pathogenesis and genetic risk associations. CCO. 2016;5(5).
2. ESMO. What is Biliary Tract Cancer. Available here. Accessed October 2021.
3. Siegel RL, Cancer statistics, 2020. CA Cancer J Clin 2020;70:7-30.
4. ECIS - European Cancer Information System. Available here. Accessed October 2021.
5. Kohei Nakachi, et al. Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Oncology Group of the Japan Clinical Oncology Group, A randomized Phase III trial of adjuvant S-1 therapy vs. observation alone in resected biliary tract cancer: Japan Clinical Oncology Group Study (JCOG1202, ASCOT), Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2018,48:392-395.
6. GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet. 2018;392(10159):1789-1858.
7. Turkes F, et al. Contemporary Tailored Oncology Treatment of Biliary Tract Cancers. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2019;2019:7698786.
8. Banales JM, Cardinale V, Carpino G, et al. Cholangiocarcinoma: current knowledge and future perspectives consensus statement from European network for the study of cholangiocarcinoma (ENS-CCA). Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;13:261-280.
9. Kirstein MM, Vogel A. Epidemiology and risk factors of cholangiocarcinoma. Visc Med. 2016;32:395-400.
10. Khan SA, Tavolari S, Brandi G. Cholangiocarcinoma: epidemiology and risk factors. Liver International. 2019;39(Suppl.1):19-31.
11. Bridgewater JA, Goodman KA, Kalyan A, et al. Biliary tract cancer: epidemiology, radiotherapy, and molecular profiling. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2016;35:194-203.
12. Torre LA, Siegel RL, Islami F, et al. Worldwide burden of and trends in mortality from gallbladder and other biliary tract cancers. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018;16:427-437.
13. Banales JM, et al. Cholangiocarcinoma 2020: the next horizon in mechanisms and management. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2020; 17: 557-588.
14. He XD, et al. Association of metabolic syndromes and risk factors with ampullary tumors development: A case-control study in China. World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(28): 9541-9548.
15. WHO. World Cancer Fact Sheet. Available here. Accessed October 2021.
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