September 19, 2014
European Commission Grants Marketing Authorization for Gilead’s Zydelig® (Idelalisib) for the Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Follicular Lymphoma
-- First-in-Class Oral Treatment for Two Incurable Blood Cancers --
CLL and FL are slow-growing incurable blood cancers that can lead to life-threatening complications such as anemia, serious infection and bone marrow failure requiring treatment. The goal of therapy for patients with these cancers is to improve overall survival and quality of life.
“Although chemo-immunotherapy is initially used to treat both CLL and
FL, relapse is common and many patients run out of treatment options to
treat the disease as it progresses,” said Peter Hillmen, PhD, Professor
of Experimental Haematology and Honorary Consultant Haematologist at
A chromosome 17 deletion - del (17p) or a mutation in the TP53 gene in CLL cells have been linked to poor prognosis and a more rapid disease progression. For these patients most conventional chemotherapy treatments are not effective and deliver poor responses of relatively short duration. Treatment options are limited for these patients.
“Zydelig represents an important therapeutic advance for patients living
with CLL and FL,” said
The approval of Zydelig in CLL is supported primarily by data from a
randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial (Study 116) of Zydelig plus
rituximab in 220 patients with relapsed CLL who were not able to
tolerate standard chemotherapy. Study 116 was stopped early in
The approval in FL, the most common type of indolent non-Hodgkin
lymphoma (iNHL), is supported by data from a single-arm Phase 2 study
(Study 101-09) of Zydelig monotherapy in 125 iNHL patients refractory to
rituximab and alkylating-agent-containing chemotherapy. In the 72
patients with FL in this study, Zydelig achieved an overall response
rate of 54 percent and the median duration of response was not reached
(range: 0.0, 14.8+ months). Results of Study 116 and Study 101-09 were
Adverse drug reactions (including Grade ≥3) reported in clinical studies in patients with hematological malignancies receiving Zydelig included infections, neutropenia, pneumonitis, diarrhea/colitis, increased transaminase (indicator of liver function), rash and pyrexia. For additional safety information, see the Summary of Product Characteristics at www.ema.europa.eu.
About Zydelig (idelalisib)
Zydelig is an oral inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) delta, a protein that plays a role in the activation, proliferation and viability of B cells, a critical component of the immune system. PI3K delta signalling is active in many B-cell leukemias and lymphomas, and by inhibiting the protein, Zydelig blocks several cellular signalling pathways that drive B-cell viability. In the EU, Zydelig is indicated in combination with rituximab for the treatment of adult patients with CLL who have received at least one prior therapy; or as first-line treatment in the presence of 17p deletion or TP53 mutation in patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy. Zydelig has also been approved as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with FL that is refractory to two prior lines of treatment. Zydelig is administered orally twice-daily and is available as 150 mg and 100 mg dose strengths.
Important EU Safety Information
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any excipients listed in the Zydelig summary of product characteristics.
Special warnings and precautions for use: The summary of product characteristics of co-prescribed medicinal products should be consulted before starting therapy with Zydelig.
Elevations in ALT and AST of Grade 3 and 4 (> 5 x ULN) have been observed in clinical studies of Zydelig. These laboratory findings were generally observed within the first 12 weeks of treatment, were generally asymptomatic, and were reversible with dose interruption. Most patients resumed treatment at a lower dose without recurrence. ALT, AST, and total bilirubin must be monitored in all patients every 2 weeks for the first 3 months of treatment, then as clinically indicated. If Grade 2 or higher elevations in ALT and/or AST are observed, patients must be monitored weekly until the values return to Grade 1 or below.
Cases of severe drug-related colitis occurred relatively late (months) after the start of therapy, sometimes with rapid aggravation, but resolved within a few weeks with dose interruption and additional symptomatic treatment (e.g., anti-inflammatory agents such as enteric budesonide).
There is very limited experience from the treatment of patients with a history of inflammatory bowel disease.
Cases of pneumonitis have been reported in clinical studies with Zydelig. Patients presenting with serious lung events that do not respond to conventional antimicrobial therapy should be assessed for drug-induced pneumonitis. If pneumonitis is suspected, Zydelig should be interrupted and the patient treated accordingly. Treatment must be discontinued for moderate or severe symptomatic pneumonitis.
Zydelig exposure may be reduced when co-administered with CYP3A inducers such as rifampicin, phenytoin, St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), or carbamazepine. Since a reduction in Zydelig plasma concentrations may result in decreased efficacy, co-administration of Zydelig with moderate or strong CYP3A inducers should be avoided.
The primary metabolite of Zydelig, GS-563117, is a strong CYP3A4
inhibitor. Thus, Zydelig has the potential to interact with medicinal
products that are metabolized by CYP3A, which may lead to increased
serum concentrations of the other product. When Zydelig is
co-administered with other medicinal products, the Summary of Product
Intensified monitoring of adverse reactions is recommended in patients with impaired hepatic function as exposure is expected to be increased in this population, in particular in patients with severe hepatic impairment. No patients with severe hepatic impairment were included in clinical studies of Zydelig. Caution is recommended when administering Zydelig in this population.
Zydelig has not been studied in patients with chronic active hepatitis including viral hepatitis. Caution should be exercised when administering Zydelig in patients with active hepatitis.
Women of childbearing potential
Women of childbearing potential must use highly effective contraception while taking Zydelig and for 1 month after stopping treatment. Women using hormonal contraceptives should add a barrier method as a second form of contraception since it is currently unknown whether Zydelig may reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives.
[Only for 100 mg strength]
Zydelig contains the azo colouring agent sunset yellow FCF (E110), which may cause allergic reactions.
For the Summary of Product Characteristics, please visit www.ema.europa.eu.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the risk that physicians and patients may not see advantages of Zydelig over other therapies and may therefore be reluctant to prescribe the product. Further, additional studies of Zydelig may produce unfavorable results. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks are described in detail in Gilead's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2014, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead, and Gilead assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.
Zydelig is a registered trademark of
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Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Patrick O’Brien, +1 650-522-1936
Arran Attridge, +44(0)20 8587 2477
Nathan Kaiser, +1 650-522-1853