05 Dec Doctor Jon Cartu Lectures – Novartis analyses confirm benefit of Kymriah® with clinically mea…
- Interim analysis from the investigational ELARA study shows, 65% of patients with r/r follicular lymphoma evaluated for efficacy achieved a complete response and the overall response rate was 83%1
- Longer-term median follow-up of 40 months from the JULIET study showed a 33% two-year progression-free survival rate in patients with r/r DLBCL2
- Both ELARA and JULIET trials reaffirm safety profile of Kymriah with no new short- or long-term safety signals identified
Basel, December 5, 2020 — Novartis announced analyses from two separate trials with Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel) in patients with certain advanced lymphomas. In the interim analysis of the investigational Phase II ELARA study, Kymriah led to a complete response (CR) in 65% of patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) follicular lymphoma (FL) and an overall response rate (ORR) of 83% after at least three months of follow-up. These patients continued to relapse or have refractory disease despite exposure to numerous lines of therapy (median four prior lines of therapy [range 2-13]) prior to Kymriah infusion1. The second analysis – a 40-month median follow-up from the Phase II JULIET trial – reported that the two-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 33% in patients with r/r diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), an important finding given these patients have limited treatment options that provide durable responses2. The JULIET study continued to show the effectiveness and well-characterized safety profile of Kymriah for these patients. These results were presented today during the 62nd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition (ASH).
“For people who have follicular lymphoma that continues to relapse or does not respond after treatment with many lines of therapy, response to therapy becomes less likely with each additional treatment,” said Nathan H. Fowler, MD, Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma, Division of Cancer Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center. “We are encouraged by these interim results from the ELARA trial, as there is a great need for potentially definitive options and an alternative to stem cell transplant. We look forward to continuing to learn more about how Kymriah may provide benefit for these patients.”
In the interim analysis of the investigational ELARA clinical trial, in which 52 patients were evaluable for efficacy with a median follow-up of 9.9 months, Kymriah led to responses for the majority of patients treated. Specifically, after at least three months of follow-up, 65% (99.5% CI, 45.1-82.4) of patients achieved a complete response, meeting the primary endpoint. The overall response rate was 83% (95% CI, 69.7-91.8). For those who had a complete response, the vast majority (90%) sustained responses for six months or more.
Safety results from this analysis of the ELARA trial suggest there was no emergence of new safety signals for Kymriah in the 97 patients evaluable for safety. No patients experienced grade 3/4 CRS, as defined by the Lee Scale, and any grade CRS occurred in 49% of patients (29% grade 1; 20% grade 2). To treat CRS, 15% of patients required tocilizumab and 3% required steroids. One percent of patients experienced grade 3/4 NEs and any grade NEs occurred in 9% of patients. Median time to CRS and severe NE onset was four and 8.5 days respectively, with respective median time to resolution of four and two days. All neurological and CRS events resolved with appropriate management. Three patients died from progressive disease and no deaths were treatment-related. Kymriah was administered in the outpatient setting for 18% of patients in the ELARA trial1.
Results from the primary analysis of the ELARA study, with data from 90 patients followed up for at least 6 months, will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.
“Novartis is dedicated to continuing to explore the safety and efficacy of Kymriah for patients with advanced blood cancers who do not achieve long-term remissions despite multiple prior lines of therapy,” said John Tsai, MD, Head of Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis. “As we go deeper with our research in CAR-T cell therapies, these new analyses showcase the potential to rewrite cancer survival in patients with certain advanced lymphomas.”
New updated efficacy results from pivotal JULIET clinical trial
New updated efficacy results from a 40-month median follow-up analysis demonstrated continued durable responses for patients with r/r DLBCL treated with Kymriah in the JULIET trial (n=115). Among the 61 patients who responded to treatment, the relapse-free probability was 60% at 24 and 36 months; median DOR was not reached (95% CI, 10-not estimable [NE])3. Two-year progression-free survival rate was 33% 2. Survival probability at 24 and 36 months was 40% and 36%, respectively. Importantly, no new safety signals were observed after more than three years of long-term follow-up observation3.
“Before the availability of Kymriah, long-term responses to treatment for those living with relapsed or refractory DLBCL were rare,” said Ulrich Jaeger, MD, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. “With these results from the JULIET trial, including biomarker analysis to better define patient subgroups who may benefit the most from CAR-T cell therapy, we are providing further evidence that Kymriah may be a definitive option for some patients. Additionally, with no new safety signals observed, physicians can continue to confidently refer their patients to certified centers to be treated with Kymriah.”
The relationship between biomarkers, such as baseline Myc overexpression in tumors and tumor microenvironment (TME) characteristics, and response to Kymriah was also assessed in this analysis. Outcomes were better for those with negative Myc expression compared to those who had Myc overexpression, which leads to an unfavorable immunosuppressive TME with a restricted T-cell response. These results are consistent with historical outcomes for patients with Myc- and Myc+ expression4. Analyses to further identify biomarkers for response to CAR-T cell therapy are ongoing.
More information about Novartis activities at ASH can be found on the Novartis 2020 ASH Annual Meeting virtual portal.
About Follicular Lymphoma
Follicular lymphoma, the second most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), is an indolent lymphoma, and represents approximately 22% of NHL cases5,6. Despite new treatments that improve overall survival, FL is regarded as an incurable malignancy with a relapsing and remitting pattern7,8. Throughout the lifetime of a patient with relapsing FL, they may be exposed to a median of five lines of prior treatment, with an upper range of 12 lines9,10. Although patients in third or later line treatment for FL have multiple systemic therapies available, the efficacy of these regimens drops off rapidly in later lines5. Additionally, because of this relapsing and remitting pattern, patients who are refractory to treatment or quickly relapse may exhaust available treatment options8.
About the ELARA trial
ELARA is a Phase II, single-arm, multicenter, open-label trial investigating the efficacy and safety of Kymriah in adult patients with r/r FL. This international trial has enrolled patients from over 30 sites in 12 countries worldwide. The primary endpoint is CRR based on best response by central review (Lugano 2014 criteria). Patients evaluable for efficacy had measurable disease at infusion and more than six months of follow-up from infusion or discontinued early. After infusion, disease assessments were performed every three months. Secondary endpoints include overall response rate, duration of response, progression-free survival, overall survival and safety.
In Q2 2020, the FDA granted Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) designation to Kymriah in r/r FL, based on preliminary results from the ELARA trial. RMAT designation is intended to expedite the development and review of Kymriah as a regenerative therapy for this underserved patient population. Kymriah also has Orphan Drug designation from the FDA for this indication.
About the JULIET Trial
JULIET was the first multi-center global registration study for Kymriah in adult patients with r/r DLBCL. JULIET, led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, enrolled patients from 27 sites in 10 countries across the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and the Netherlands.
Kymriah is the first-ever FDA-approved CAR-T cell therapy, and the first-ever CAR-T to be approved in two distinct indications. It is a one-time treatment designed to empower patients’ immune systems to fight their cancer. Kymriah is currently approved for the treatment of r/r pediatric and young adult (up to 25 years of age) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and r/r adult DLBCL11.
About Novartis Commitment to Oncology Cell & Gene
Novartis has a…