AstraZeneca's Imfinzi gets FDA priority review for small cell lung cancer
AstraZeneca has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) and granted Priority Review for Imfinzi (durvalumab) for the treatment of patients with previously untreated extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
SCLC is an aggressive, fast-growing form of lung cancer that recurs and progresses rapidly despite initial response to platinum-based chemotherapy.1 A Prescription Drug User Fee Act date is set for the first quarter of 2020.
The sBLA was based on positive results from the Phase III CASPIAN trial published in The Lancet, showing Imfinzi in combination with standard-of-care (SoC) chemotherapy (etoposide with either cisplatin or carboplatin) demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival (OS) vs. SoC. The risk of death was reduced by 27% (equal to a hazard ratio of 0.73), with median OS of 13.0 months for Imfinzi plus chemotherapy vs. 10.3 months for SoC. Results showed an estimated 33.9% of patients were alive at 18 months following treatment with Imfinzi plus chemotherapy vs. 24.7% of patients receiving SoC.
Imfinzi is approved in the curative-intent setting of unresectable, Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after chemoradiation therapy in 54 countries, including the US, Japan and the EU, based on the Phase III PACIFIC trial.
CASPIAN is a randomised, open-label, multi-centre, global, Phase III trial in the 1st-line treatment of patients with extensive-stage SCLC. The trial compared Imfinzi in combination with etoposide and either cisplatin or carboplatin chemotherapy, or Imfinzi, tremelimumab and chemotherapy vs. chemotherapy alone. In the experimental arms, patients were treated with up to four cycles of chemotherapy. In comparison, the control arm allowed up to six cycles of chemotherapy and prophylactic cranial irradiation. The trial will continue to the final analysis of OS for the combination of Imfinzi, tremelimumab and chemotherapy. The trial is being conducted in more than 200 centres across 23 countries, including the US, Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East. The primary endpoint is OS.
About small cell lung cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women and accounts for about one-fifth of all cancer deaths.2 Lung cancer is broadly split into NSCLC and SCLC, with about 15% classified as SCLC.3 About three quarters of SCLC patients are diagnosed with extensive-stage disease, in which the cancer has spread widely through the lung or to other parts of the body. Prognosis is particularly poor, as only 6% of all SCLC patients will be alive five years after diagnosis.4
Imfinzi (durvalumab) is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to PD-L1 and blocks the interaction of PD-L1 with PD-1 and CD80, countering the tumour's immune-evading tactics and releasing the inhibition of immune responses.
Imfinzi is also approved for previously treated patients with advanced bladder cancer in 11 countries, including the US.
As part of a broad development programme, Imfinzi is also being tested as a monotherapy and in combination with tremelimumab, an anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody and potential new medicine, as a treatment for patients with NSCLC, SCLC, bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, liver cancer, biliary tract cancer, cervical cancer and other solid tumours.