TARRYTOWN, N.Y. and PARIS, June 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —
Approval based on a Phase 3 trial demonstrating Libtayo significantly improved overall survival compared to chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC that included challenging-to-treat patient populations
Libtayo now approved by the European Commission for three advanced cancers
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) and Sanofi today announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved the PD-1 inhibitor Libtayo® (cemiplimab) for the first-line treatment of adults with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumor cells have ≥50% PD-L1 expression and no EGFR, ALK or ROS1 aberrations. Patients must have metastatic NSCLC or locally advanced NSCLC and not be a candidate for definitive chemoradiation.
Libtayo is now approved for three advanced cancers in the European Union. The EC also approved Libtayo in advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the first treatment to be indicated for those patients who have progressed on or are intolerant to a hedgehog pathway inhibitor (HHI). In 2019, Libtayo was approved by the EC as the first treatment for adults with metastatic or locally advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) who are not candidates for curative surgery or curative radiation. Across all of its approved indications, Libtayo had a generally consistent safety profile. Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue during or after treatment with Libtayo.
“Libtayo has demonstrated a highly significant improvement in overall survival compared to chemotherapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer with high PD-L1 expression and a variety of challenging-to-treat disease characteristics,” said Israel Lowy, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Translational and Clinical Sciences, Oncology at Regeneron. “Beyond the primary analysis, we continue to conduct post-hoc analyses of our Phase 3 trial with the goal of informing treatment in this patient population.”
The EC approval in advanced NSCLC is based on data from a global Phase 3 trial that enrolled 710 patients from 24 countries. The trial, which was one of the largest for a PD-1 inhibitor in advanced NSCLC, was designed to be more reflective of clinical practice by including challenging-to-treat and often underrepresented disease characteristics. Among those enrolled, 12% had pre-treated and clinically stable brain metastases, 44% had squamous cell histology and 16% had locally advanced NSCLC that was not a candidate for definitive chemoradiation. Furthermore, patients whose disease progressed in the trial were able to change their therapy: those assigned to chemotherapy could crossover to Libtayo treatment, while those assigned to Libtayo monotherapy could continue Libtayo treatment and add four cycles of chemotherapy.
In the overall study population, Libtayo significantly reduced the risk of death by 32% and extended median overall survival (OS) by 8 months compared to chemotherapy, even with 74% of patients crossing over to Libtayo following disease progression on chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.53-0.87; p=0.0022). The median OS was 22 months for Libtayo (range: 18 months to not evaluable) and 14 months for chemotherapy (range: 12 to 19 months). A prespecified analysis of data from patients whose cancers had PD-L1 expression ≥50% (n=563) based on a validated assay was also conducted. As published in The Lancet, Libtayo reduced the risk of death by 43% for patients in this population; median OS was not reached for Libtayo (95% CI: 18 months to not evaluable) and was 14 months for chemotherapy (95% CI: 11 to 18 months).
In the Phase 3 trial, safety was assessed in 697 patients, with a duration of exposure of 27 weeks (range: 9 days to 115 weeks) for the Libtayo group and 18 weeks (range: 18 days to 87 weeks) for the chemotherapy group. Serious adverse reactions (AEs) in at least 2% of patients were pneumonia (5% Libtayo, 6% chemotherapy) and pneumonitis (2% Libtayo, 0% chemotherapy). Treatment was permanently discontinued due to AEs in 6% of Libtayo patients; AEs resulting in permanent discontinuation in at least 2 patients were pneumonitis, pneumonia, ischemic stroke and increased aspartate aminotransferase. No new Libtayo safety signals were observed.
“We are confident that Libtayo has the potential to become an important treatment option for patients in the European Union and thank all the investigators, patients and their families who helped us reach this milestone,” said Peter C. Adamson, M.D., Global Development Head, Oncology at Sanofi. “We are anticipating results from our ongoing Phase 3 trial of Libtayo plus chemotherapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and remain committed to studying Libtayo in additional cancer settings where there is the potential to improve the outcome for patients.”
About the Phase 3 Trial in Advanced NSCLC
EMPOWER-Lung 1 was an open-label, randomized, multi-center Phase 3 trial designed to investigate Libtayo monotherapy compared to platinum-doublet chemotherapy as first-line treatment in patients with advanced NSCLC who tested positive for PD-L1 in ≥50% of tumor cells and had no EGFR, ALK or ROS1 aberrations. PD-L1 expression was confirmed using the Agilent Dako PD-L1 IHC 22C3 pharmDx kit.
The trial randomized 710 patients 1:1 who had either previously untreated metastatic NSCLC (stage IV) or locally advanced NSCLC (stage IIIB/C) who were not candidates for surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation or who had progressed after treatment with definitive chemoradiation. Those receiving Libtayo were intravenously administered a 350 mg dose every three weeks for up to 108 weeks, while those receiving chemotherapy received an investigator-selected, platinum-doublet chemotherapy regimen for four to six cycles (with or without maintenance pemetrexed chemotherapy).
The primary endpoints were OS and progression-free survival, and secondary endpoints included objective response rate, duration of response and quality of life. In 2020, the trial was stopped early due to a significant improvement in OS.
Libtayo is a fully human monoclonal antibody targeting the immune checkpoint receptor PD-1 on T-cells. By binding to PD-1, Libtayo has been shown to block cancer cells from using the PD-1 pathway to suppress T-cell activation.
The extensive clinical program for Libtayo is focused on difficult-to-treat cancers. Current clinical development programs include Libtayo in combination with chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC irrespective of PD-L1 expression and Libtayo monotherapy for advanced cervical cancer. Libtayo is also being investigated in combination with either conventional or novel therapeutic approaches for other solid tumors and blood cancers. These potential uses are investigational, and their safety and efficacy have not been evaluated by any regulatory authority.
The generic name for Libtayo in its approved U.S. indications is cemiplimab-rwlc, with rwlc as the suffix designated in accordance with Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products Guidance for Industry issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Libtayo is being jointly developed by Regeneron and Sanofi under a global collaboration agreement.
About Regeneron’s VelocImmune® Technology
Regeneron’s VelocImmune technology utilizes a proprietary genetically engineered mouse platform endowed with a genetically humanized immune system to produce optimized fully human antibodies. When Regeneron’s President and Chief Scientific Officer George D. Yancopoulos was a graduate student with his mentor Frederick W. Alt in 1985, they were the first to envision making such a genetically humanized mouse, and Regeneron has spent decades inventing and developing VelocImmune and related VelociSuite® technologies. Dr. Yancopoulos and his team have used VelocImmune technology to create approximately a quarter of all original, FDA-approved fully human monoclonal antibodies currently available. This includes REGEN–COV™ (casirivimab and imdevimab), Dupixent® (dupilumab), Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwlc), Praluent® (alirocumab), Kevzara® (sarilumab), Evkeeza® (evinacumab-dgnb) and Inmazeb™ (atoltivimab, maftivimab and odesivimab-ebgn).
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION AND INDICATION FOR U.S. PATIENTS
What is Libtayo?
Libtayo is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a type of skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) that has spread or cannot be cured by surgery or radiation.
Libtayo is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma that cannot be removed by surgery (locally advanced BCC) and have received treatment with an HHI, or cannot receive treatment with an HHI.
Libtayo is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma that has spread (metastatic BCC) and have received treatment with a hedgehog pathway inhibitor (HHI), or cannot receive treatment with an HHI. This use is approved based on how many patients responded to treatment and how long they responded. Studies are ongoing to provide additional information about clinical benefit.
Libtayo is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a type of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Libtayo may be used as your first treatment when your lung cancer has not spread outside your chest (locally advanced lung cancer) and you cannot have surgery or chemotherapy with radiation, or your lung cancer has spread to other areas of your body (metastatic lung cancer), and your tumor tests positive for high “PD-L1” and your tumor does not have an abnormal “EGFR”, “ALK “or “ROS1” gene.
It is not known if Libtayo is safe and effective in children.
What is the most important information I should know about Libtayo?
Libtayo is a medicine that may treat certain cancers by working with your immune system. Libtayo can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in any area of your body and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become severe or life-threatening and can lead to death. You can have more than one of these problems at the same time. These problems may happen anytime during treatment or even after your treatment has ended.
Call or see your healthcare provider right away if you develop any new or worsening signs or symptoms, including:
- Lung problems: cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Intestinal problems: diarrhea (loose stools) or more frequent bowel movements than usual, stools that are black, tarry, sticky or have blood or mucus, or severe stomach-area (abdomen) pain or tenderness
- Liver problems: yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, severe nausea or vomiting, pain on the right side of your stomach area (abdomen), dark urine (tea colored), or bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
- Hormone gland problems: headache that will not go away or unusual headaches, eye sensitivity to light, eye problems, rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, extreme tiredness, weight gain or weight loss, feeling more hungry or thirsty than usual, urinating more often than usual, hair loss, feeling cold, constipation, your voice gets deeper, dizziness or fainting, or changes in mood or behavior, such as decreased sex drive, irritability, or forgetfulness
- Kidney problems: decrease in your amount of urine, blood in your urine, swelling of your ankles, or loss of appetite
- Skin problems: rash, itching, skin blistering or peeling, painful sores or ulcers in mouth or nose, throat, or genital area, fever or flu-like symptoms, or swollen lymph nodes
- Problems can also happen in other organs and tissues. These are not all of the signs and symptoms of immune system problems that can happen with Libtayo. Call or see your healthcare provider right away for any new or worsening signs or symptoms, which may include: chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath or swelling of ankles, confusion, sleepiness, memory problems, changes in mood or behavior, stiff neck, balance problems, tingling or numbness of the arms or legs, double vision, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, eye pain, changes in eyesight, persistent or severe muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, low red blood cells, or bruising
- Infusion reactions that can sometimes be severe. Signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include: nausea, chills or shaking, itching or rash, flushing, shortness of breath or wheezing, dizziness, feel like passing out, fever, back or neck pain, or facial swelling
- Rejection of a transplanted organ. Your healthcare provider should tell you what signs and symptoms you should report and monitor you, depending on the type of organ transplant that you have had.
- Complications, including graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), in people who have received a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant that uses donor stem cells (allogeneic). These complications can be serious and can lead to death. These complications may happen if you underwent transplantation either before or after being treated with Libtayo. Your healthcare provider will monitor you for these complications.
Getting medical treatment right away may help keep these problems from becoming more serious. Your healthcare provider will check you for these problems during your treatment with Libtayo. Your healthcare provider may treat you with corticosteroid or hormone replacement medicines. Your healthcare provider may also need to delay or completely stop treatment with Libtayo if you have severe side effects.
Before you receive Libtayo, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- have immune system problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus
- have received an organ transplant
- have received or plan to receive a stem cell transplant that uses donor stem cells (allogeneic)
- have a condition that affects your nervous system, such as myasthenia gravis or Guillain-Barré syndrome
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Libtayo can harm your unborn baby
Females who are able to become pregnant:
– Your healthcare provider will give you a pregnancy test before you start treatment.
– You should use an effective method of birth control during your treatment and for at least 4 months after your last dose of Libtayo. Talk with your healthcare provider about birth control methods that you can use during this time.
– Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant during treatment with Libtayo.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Libtayo passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment and for at least 4 months after the last dose of Libtayo.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over- the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
The most common side effects of Libtayo include muscle or bone pain, tiredness, rash, and diarrhea. These are not all the possible side effects of Libtayo. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi at 1-877-542-8296.
Please see full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to nine FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, almost all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite technologies, such as VelocImmune, which uses unique genetically humanized mice to produce optimized fully human antibodies and bispecific antibodies, and through ambitious research initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.
For additional information about the company, please visit www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.
Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.
With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.
Sanofi, Empowering Life
Regeneron Forward-Looking Statements and Use of Digital Media
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These statements concern, and these risks and uncertainties include, among others, the impact of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic) on Regeneron’s business and its employees, collaborators, and suppliers and other third parties on which Regeneron relies, Regeneron’s and its collaborators’ ability to continue to conduct research and clinical programs, Regeneron’s ability to manage its supply chain, net product sales of products marketed or otherwise commercialized by Regeneron and/or its collaborators (collectively, “Regeneron’s Products”), and the global economy; the nature, timing, and possible success and therapeutic applications of Regeneron’s Products and product candidates being developed by Regeneron and/or its collaborators (collectively, “Regeneron’s Product Candidates”) and research and clinical programs now underway or planned, including without limitation Libtayo® (cemiplimab) for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”); uncertainty of the utilization, market acceptance, and commercial success of Regeneron’s Products (such as Libtayo) and Regeneron’s Product Candidates and the impact of studies (whether conducted by Regeneron or others and whether mandated or voluntary), including the study discussed in this press release, on any of the foregoing; the likelihood, timing, and scope of possible regulatory approval and commercial launch of Regeneron’s Product Candidates and new indications for Regeneron’s Products, such as possible regulatory approval of Libtayo in combination with chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC irrespective of PD-L1 expression and as monotherapy for advanced cervical cancer (as well as in combination with either conventional or novel therapeutic approaches for both solid tumors and blood cancers); the ability of Regeneron’s collaborators, suppliers, or other third parties (as applicable) to perform manufacturing, filling, finishing, packaging, labeling, distribution, and other steps related to Regeneron’s Products and Regeneron’s Product Candidates; the ability of Regeneron to manufacture and manage supply chains for multiple products and product candidates; safety issues resulting from the administration of Regeneron’s Products (such as Libtayo) and Regeneron’s Product Candidates in patients, including serious complications or side effects in connection with the use of Regeneron’s Products and Regeneron’s Product Candidates in clinical trials; determinations by regulatory and administrative governmental authorities which may delay or restrict Regeneron’s ability to continue to develop or commercialize Regeneron’s Products and Regeneron’s Product Candidates, including without limitation Libtayo; ongoing regulatory obligations and oversight impacting Regeneron’s Products, research and clinical programs, and business, including those relating to patient privacy; the availability and extent of reimbursement of Regeneron’s Products from third-party payers, including private payer healthcare and insurance programs, health maintenance organizations, pharmacy benefit management companies, and government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid; coverage and reimbursement determinations by such payers and new policies and procedures adopted by such payers; competing drugs and product candidates that may be superior to, or more cost effective than, Regeneron’s Products and Regeneron’s Product Candidates; the extent to which the results from the research and development programs conducted by Regeneron and/or its collaborators may be replicated in other studies and/or lead to advancement of product candidates to clinical trials, therapeutic applications, or regulatory approval; unanticipated expenses; the costs of developing, producing, and selling products; the ability of Regeneron to meet any of its financial projections or guidance and changes to the assumptions underlying those projections or guidance; the potential for any license, collaboration, or supply agreement, including Regeneron’s agreements with Sanofi, Bayer, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (or their respective affiliated companies, as applicable), to be cancelled or terminated; and risks associated with intellectual property of other parties and pending or future litigation relating thereto (including without limitation the patent litigation and other related proceedings relating to EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection, Dupixent® (dupilumab), Praluent® (alirocumab), and REGEN-COV™ (casirivimab and imdevimab)), other litigation and other proceedings and government investigations relating to the Company and/or its operations, the ultimate outcome of any such proceedings and investigations, and the impact any of the foregoing may have on Regeneron’s business, prospects, operating results, and financial condition. A more complete description of these and other material risks can be found in Regeneron’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and its Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2021. Any forward-looking statements are made based on management’s current beliefs and judgment, and the reader is cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements made by Regeneron. Regeneron does not undertake any obligation to update (publicly or otherwise) any forward-looking statement, including without limitation any financial projection or guidance, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Regeneron uses its media and investor relations website and social media outlets to publish important information about the Company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Regeneron is routinely posted and is accessible on Regeneron’s media and investor relations website (http://newsroom.regeneron.com) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/regeneron).
Sanofi Forward-Looking Statements
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SOURCE Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.