BEERSE, Belgium--The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson today announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved variations to broaden the use of Imbruvica® (ibrutinib) in two indications. This includes the use of ibrutinib in combination with obinutuzumab in adult patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and the use of ibrutinib plus rituximab for the treatment of adult patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM). The approval follows the Positive Opinion from the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) on 28 June 2019.
“The data supporting both the CLL and WM approvals show significant improvements in progression free survival with the use of ibrutinib-based therapy versus the standard of care study comparators respectively,” said Dr Alessandra Tedeschi, Medical Director, Department of Hematology, Niguarda Hospital, Milan, Italy, and investigator in both the iNNOVATE and iLLUMINATE studies. “These approvals therefore provide healthcare professionals with new chemotherapy-free options for patients with these complex blood cancers.”
The approval in CLL was based on results from the Phase 3 iLLUMINATE (PCYC-1130) study, published in The Lancet Oncology, which investigated ibrutinib in combination with obinutuzumab versus chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab in patients with previously untreated CLL.1
In WM, the decision was based on data from the Phase 3 iNNOVATE (PCYC-1127) study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.2 The study evaluated the efficacy and safety of ibrutinib in combination with rituximab, versus rituximab with placebo, in patients with previously untreated and relapsed/refractory WM.3
Additional information about both studies can be found at www.ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02264574 and NCT02165397).4,5
“With five European Commission approvals in five years, this latest EC decision further extends the potential reach and impact ibrutinib can have for patients,” said Craig Tendler, M.D., Vice President, Clinical Development and Global Medical Affairs, Oncology, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “We remain committed to a comprehensive clinical development programme for ibrutinib, including exploring its use in other combinations, to address the needs of more and more patients with B-cell malignancies.”
Ibrutinib, a first-in-class Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, is jointly developed and commercialised by Janssen Biotech, Inc., and Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company.
Dr Alessandra Tedeschi is co-investigator in both the iNNOVATE and iLLUMINATE studies. She was not compensated for any media work.
About ibrutinib Ibrutinib is a first-in-class Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, which works by forming a strong covalent bond with BTK to block the transmission of cell survival signals within the malignant B-cells.6 By blocking this BTK protein, ibrutinib decreases survival and migration of B lymphocytes, thereby delaying progression of the cancer.7
Ibrutinib is currently approved in Europe for:8
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL): As a single agent or in combination with obinutuzumab for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated CLL, and as a single agent or in combination with bendamustine and rituximab (BR) for the treatment of adult patients with CLL who have received at least one prior therapyMantle cell lymphoma (MCL): As a single agent for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory MCLWaldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM): As a single agent for the treatment of adult patients who have received at least one prior therapy or in first-line treatment for patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy, and in combination with rituximab for the treatment of adult patients
Ibrutinib is approved in more than 95 countries, and, to date, has been used to treat more than 158,000 patients worldwide across its approved indications.
The most common adverse reactions seen with ibrutinib include diarrhoea, neutropenia, haemorrhage (e.g., bruising), musculoskeletal pain, nausea, rash, and pyrexia.8