WHIPPANY, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bayer announced today that the Phase III study CHRONOS-3 evaluating Aliqopa™ (copanlisib) in combination with rituximab in indolent Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (iNHL) patients (n=458) who have relapsed after one or more prior lines of rituximab-containing therapy has met its primary endpoint of prolonged progression-free survival (PFS). The study predominantly included patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) and marginal zone lymphoma, as well as patients with small lymphocytic lymphoma and lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma/Waldenström macroglobulinemia. In 2017, based on the Phase II CHRONOS-1 study, Aliqopa was approved for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed FL who have received at least two prior systemic therapies. Accelerated approval was granted for this indication based on overall response rate (ORR). Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.
CHRONOS-3 is a Phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with the objective to evaluate whether Aliqopa in combination with rituximab is superior to placebo plus rituximab in extending PFS in patients with relapsed iNHL following at least one prior rituximab product. The safety observed in the trial was generally consistent with previously published data on the individual components of the combination and no new safety signals were identified.
“Indolent forms of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma are a heterogenous group of malignancies characterized by a chronic pattern of remissions and recurrences. For iNHL patients with disease progression who are in need of treatment, there are few approved treatment options,” said Dr. Scott Z. Fields, Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology Development at Bayer. “The positive results from CHRONOS-3 demonstrate the potential clinical benefit of copanlisib in combination with rituximab, to address the unmet medical need in these patients.”
Results from CHRONOS-3 will be presented at a scientific congress. Bayer plans to discuss the data from CHRONOS-3 with health authorities worldwide.
Aliqopa is an intravenous phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor with predominant activity against alpha and delta isoforms the PI3K-alpha and PI3K-delta isoforms expressed in malignant B cells.i Aliqopa is approved in the U.S. under the accelerated approval pathway for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed FL who have received at least two prior systemic therapies. Accelerated approval was granted for this indication based on an ORR of 59% (n=61) 95% CI: 49, 68, including 14% (15/104) of complete responses (CRs) from the open-label, single-arm multicenter, Phase II clinical trial (CHRONOS-1), in a total of 142 subjects, which included 104 subjects with follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who had relapsed disease following at least two prior treatments. In the updated two-year follow-up analysis, Aliqopa ORR was 59% (n=61) 95% CI: 49, 68, including 20% CR (n=21).ii Tumor response was assessed according to the International Working Group response criteria for malignant lymphoma. Efficacy based on ORR was assessed by an Independent Review Committee. Continued approval for this indication is contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.
CHRONOS-3 is a Phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the efficacy and safety of Aliqopa in combination with rituximab versus placebo in combination with rituximab in patients with relapsed indolent NHL who have received at least one or more lines of prior rituximab-containing treatment. Histological subtypes included in the trial were follicular lymphoma (FL), small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma/Waldenström macroglobulinemia (LPL/WM), and marginal zone lymphoma (MZL). Patients must have relapsed after the last rituximab- containing therapy and either had a treatment-free interval of ≥ 12 months after completion of the last rituximab-containing treatment, or are unwilling to receive chemotherapy or for whom chemotherapy is contraindicated on reason of age, comorbidities, and/or residual toxicity (NCT02367040). The study enrolled 458 participants.
About Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) comprises a highly heterogeneous group of chronic diseases with poor prognosis. NHL is the most common hematologic malignancy and the tenth most common cancer worldwide, with nearly 510,000 new cases diagnosed in 2018. It accounts for nearly 249,000 deaths worldwide in 2018.
Indolent NHL consists of multiple subtypes, including follicular lymphoma (FL), marginal zone lymphoma (MZL), small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma/Waldenström macroglobulinemia (LPL/WM). While the disease is typically slowly growing, it can become more aggressive over time. Despite treatment advances, there remains a need for improved treatment options for the relapsed or refractory stage of the disease. After response to initial therapy, response rates and duration of response decline with subsequent lines of therapy, underscoring the need for patients whose disease has already progressed.
About Aliqopa™ (copanlisib) Injection
Aliqopa (copanlisib) is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma (FL) who have received at least two prior systemic therapies. Accelerated approval was granted for this indication based on overall response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.
Aliqopa is an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) with inhibitory activity predominantly against PI3K-α and PI3K-δ isoforms expressed in malignant B cells. Aliqopa has been shown to induce tumor cell death by apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation of primary malignant B cell lines. Aliqopa inhibits several key cell-signaling pathways, including B-cell receptor signaling, CXCR12 mediated chemotaxis of malignant B cells, and NFκB signaling in lymphoma cell lines.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Infections: Serious, including fatal, infections occurred in 19% of 317 patients treated with ALIQOPA monotherapy. The most common serious infection was pneumonia. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infection and withhold ALIQOPA for Grade 3 and higher infection.
Serious pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PJP) infection occurred in 0.6% of 317 patients treated with ALIQOPA monotherapy. Before initiating treatment with ALIQOPA, consider PJP prophylaxis for populations at risk. Withhold ALIQOPA in patients with suspected PJP infection of any grade. If confirmed, treat infection until resolution, then resume ALIQOPA at previous dose with concomitant PJP prophylaxis.
Hyperglycemia: Grade 3 or 4 hyperglycemia (blood glucose 250 mg/dL or greater) occurred in 41% of 317 patients treated with ALIQOPA monotherapy. Serious hyperglycemic events occurred in 2.8% of patients. Treatment with ALIQOPA may result in infusion-related hyperglycemia. Blood glucose levels typically peaked 5 to 8 hours post-infusion and subsequently declined to baseline levels for a majority of patients; blood glucose levels remained elevated in 17.7% of patients one day after ALIQOPA infusion. Of 155 patients with baseline HbA1c <5.7%, 16 (10%) patients had HbA1c >6.5% at the end of treatment.
Of the twenty patients with diabetes mellitus treated in CHRONOS-1, seven developed Grade 4 hyperglycemia and two discontinued treatment. Patients with diabetes mellitus should only be treated with ALIQOPA following adequate glucose control and should be monitored closely.
Achieve optimal blood glucose control before starting each ALIQOPA infusion. Withhold, reduce dose, or discontinue ALIQOPA depending on the severity and persistence of hyperglycemia.
Hypertension: Grade 3 hypertension (systolic 160 mmHg or greater or diastolic 100 mmHg or greater) occurred in 26% of 317 patients treated with ALIQOPA monotherapy. Serious hypertensive events occurred in 0.9% of 317 patients. Treatment with ALIQOPA may result in infusion-related hypertension. The mean change of systolic and diastolic BP from baseline to 2 hours post-infusion on Cycle 1 Day 1 was 16.8 mmHg and 7.8 mmHg, respectively. The mean BP started decreasing approximately 2 hours post-infusion; BP remained elevated for 6 to 8 hours after the start of the ALIQOPA infusion. Optimal BP control should be achieved before starting each ALIQOPA infusion. Monitor BP pre- and post-infusion. Withhold, reduce dose, or discontinue ALIQOPA depending on the severity and persistence of hypertension.
Non-infectious Pneumonitis: Non-infectious pneumonitis occurred in 5% of 317 patients treated with ALIQOPA monotherapy. Withhold ALIQOPA and conduct a diagnostic examination of a patient who is experiencing pulmonary symptoms such as cough, dyspnea, hypoxia, or interstitial infiltrates on radiologic exam. Patients with pneumonitis thought to be caused by ALIQOPA have been managed by withholding ALIQOPA and administration of systemic corticosteroids. Withhold, reduce dose, or discontinue ALIQOPA depending on the severity and persistence of non-infectious pneumonitis.
Neutropenia: Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia occurred in 24% of 317 patients treated with ALIQOPA monotherapy. Serious neutropenic events occurred in 1.3%. Monitor blood counts at least weekly during treatment with ALIQOPA. Withhold, reduce dose, or discontinue ALIQOPA depending on the severity and persistence of neutropenia.
Severe Cutaneous Reaction: Grade 3 and 4 cutaneous reactions occurred in 2.8% and 0.6% of 317 patients treated with ALIQOPA monotherapy respectively. Serious cutaneous reaction events were reported in 0.9%. The reported events included dermatitis exfoliative, exfoliative rash, pruritus, and rash (including maculo-papular rash). Withhold, reduce dose, or discontinue ALIQOPA depending on the severity and persistence of severe cutaneous reactions.
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on findings in animals and its mechanism of action, ALIQOPA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. In animal reproduction studies, administration of copanlisib to pregnant rats during organogenesis caused embryo-fetal death and fetal abnormalities in rats at maternal doses as low as 0.75 mg/kg/day (4.5 mg/m2/day body surface area) corresponding to approximately 12% the recommended dose for patients. 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 and for at least one month after the last dose.
Adverse Drug Reactions: Serious adverse reactions were reported in 44 (26%) patients. The most frequent serious adverse reactions that occurred were pneumonia (8%), pneumonitis (5%) and hyperglycemia (5%). Adverse reactions resulted in dose reduction in 36 (21%) and discontinuation in 27 (16%) patients. The most frequently observed adverse drug reactions (≥20%) in ALIQOPA-treated patients were: hyperglycemia (54%), leukopenia (36%), diarrhea (36%), decreased general strength and energy (36%), hypertension (35%), neutropenia (32%), nausea (26%), thrombocytopenia (22%), and lower respiratory tract infections (21%).
Drug Interactions: Avoid concomitant use with strong CYP3A inducers. Reduce the ALIQOPA dose to 45 mg when concomitantly administered with strong CYP3A inhibitors.
Lactation: Advise women not to breastfeed. Advise a lactating woman not to breastfeed during treatment with ALIQOPA and for at least 1 month after the last dose.
For important risk and use information about Aliqopa, please see the full Prescribing Information.
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 six marketed products across various indications and several compounds in different stages of clinical development. The company’s approach to research prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way cancer is treated.
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 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.
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This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
i Scott, W.J.; Hentemann, M.F.; Rowley, R.B.; Bull, C.O.; Jenkins, S.; Bullion, A.M.; Johnson, J.; Redman, A.; Robbins, A.H.; Esler, W.; Fracasso, R.P.; Garrison, T.; Hamilton, M.; Michels, M.; Wood, J.E.; Wilkie, D.P.; Xiao, H.; Levy, J.; Brands, M.; Lefranc, J. ChemMedChem 2016, 11, 1517-1530. Discovery and SAR of novel 2,3-dihydroimidazo[1,2-c]quinazoline PI3K inhibitors: Identification of copanlisib (BAY 806946).
ii Dreyling, M.; Santoro, A.; Mollica, L.; Leppa, S.; Follows, G.; Lenz, G.; Kim, W.S.; Nagler, A.; Dimou, M.; Demeter, J.; Ozcan, M.; Kosinova, M.; Bouabdallah, K.; Morschhauser, F.; Stevens, D.A.; Trevarthen, D.; Munoz, J.; Rodrigues, L.; Hiemeyer, F.; Miriyala, A.; Garcia-Vargas, J.; Childs, B.H.; Zinzani, P.L. Am. J. Hematol. 2020, 95, 362-371. Long-term safety and efficacy of the PI3K inhibitor copanlisib in patients with relapsed or refractory indolent lymphoma: 2-year follow-up of the CHRONOS-1 study.