December 11, 2022
Body of Evidence Grows From ZUMA-7 Study Supporting Initial Treatment With Kite’s Yescarta® CAR T-cell Therapy for Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Large B-cell Lymphoma
-- Treatment Sequencing Post Hoc Analysis of Outcomes in Patients Treated with Any Cellular Immunotherapy (Including Yescarta in Third-Line) Further Support Previously Reported ZUMA-7 Study Data Showing Benefit of Earlier, Second-Line Treatment with Yescarta --
-- Additional Analysis Reports Improved Outcomes with Yescarta Versus Standard of Care Across Both High and Low Levels of Metabolic Tumor Burden --
SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), today announced findings from two new analyses of the landmark ZUMA-7 trial of Yescarta® (axicabtagene ciloleucel), the largest and longest follow-up of a CAR T-cell therapy versus standard of care (SOC) in patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma (r/r LBCL). These results include an analysis of outcomes for patients who received subsequent treatment for their lymphoma following second-line Yescarta therapy or SOC therapy, as well as an exploratory analysis of the association between metabolic tumor volume (MTV) and clinical outcomes. The data were presented orally at the 2022 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition on December 11 and 10, respectively (Abstracts #659 and #259).
Data from the pivotal ZUMA-7 trial supported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) expanded approval of Yescarta in April 2022 as initial treatment in adults with r/r LBCL that is refractory to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or that relapses within 12 months of first-line chemoimmunotherapy, and led to a similar approval by the European Medicines Agency in October 2022. This year marks Yescarta’s 5th anniversary from the initial approval by the FDA in 2017 as the first CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory LBCL after two or more lines of systemic therapy.
“These further analyses from the ZUMA-7 study show consistent benefit of Yescarta versus standard of care in the second-line r/r LBCL setting, including for those who require subsequent third-line treatment and even for specific patient subgroups,” said Frank Neumann, MD, PhD, SVP & Global Head of Clinical Development, Kite. “These results provide physicians additional confidence in utilizing Yescarta as initial treatment of relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma.”
Outcomes of Subsequent Anti-Lymphoma Therapies In Patients With Large B-Cell Lymphoma (LBCL) Treated with Axicabtagene Ciloleucel (Axi-Cel) or Standard of Care (SOC) in the Second-Line (2L) Zuma-7 Study
In an analysis of patients from the ZUMA-7 trial who required subsequent therapy following second-line treatment, 47% (84 of 180) of patients randomized to receive Yescarta in the second-line (2L) required subsequent therapy compared to 71% (127 of 179) patients randomized to 2L standard of care. For patients who received third-line (3L) chemotherapy following treatment with Yescarta (n=60), overall median progression-free survival (PFS) was 1.7 months (95% CI, 1.4-2.0) and median overall survival (OS) was 8.1 months (95% CI, 5.8-11.5) since 3L treatment initiation, with an objective response rate (ORR) of 25% [complete response (CR) rate: 13%]. Among Yescarta patients who received 3L cellular immunotherapy (n=8), median PFS was 3.5 months (95% CI, 1.1-not evaluable), and six patients went on to receive subsequent stem cell transplant, with all six alive at data cutoff (median follow-up since 3L treatment initiation: 24.4 months). Of the patients who received retreatment with CAR T-cell therapy in 3L, but did not progress on to stem cell transplant (n=2), one had fatal disease progression at 8.7 months following retreatment, and one had a complete response (CR) and was alive at data cutoff (8.4 months following retreatment). Thirty-four of these patients received 3L chemotherapy following initial response to 2L Yescarta. Among those patients, overall median PFS was 1.7 months (95% CI, 1.4-2.4) and median OS was 8.1 months (95% CI, 6.8-11.9), with an ORR of 32% (CR rate: 18%). Among patients randomized to SOC who received 3L cellular immunotherapy (n=68), median PFS was 6.3 months (95% CI, 3.4-16.3) and median OS was 16.3 months (95% CI, 8.7-not evaluable).
“These findings showed that patients who received CAR T-cell therapy as second-line treatment for r/r LBCL do better than those who wait and receive it as third-line,” said Armin Ghobadi, MD, ZUMA-7 investigator and Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri. “These findings support the earlier use of CAR T, and can help inform subsequent treatment choices after second-line treatment, including stem cell transplant.”
Association of Metabolic Tumor Volume (MTV) and Clinical Outcomes in Second-Line (2L) Relapsed/Refractory (R/R) Large B-Cell Lymphoma (LBCL) Following Axicabtagene Ciloleucel (Axi-Cel) Versus Standard-of-Care (SOC) Therapy in ZUMA-7
In an analysis from ZUMA-7 of the association of metabolic tumor volume (MTV) and clinical outcomes, event-free survival (EFS) was superior for Yescarta compared to SOC for patients with high and low MTV (HR, 0.417 and 0.423, respectively; descriptive P<0.05 for both). EFS trended shorter in Yescarta patients with high MTV (HR, 1.441 [95% CI, 0.978-2.124]) and EFS was shorter in SOC patients with high MTV (HR, 1.486 [95% CI, 1.055-2.093]). Similarly, PFS with Yescarta was superior to SOC for both low and high MTV (HR, 0.504 [95% CI, 0.328-0.776] and HR, 0.523 [95% CI, 0.357-0.765], respectively). In the Yescarta arm, median MTV was higher in patients who experienced Grade ≥3 neurologic events or Grade ≥3 cytokine release syndrome (CRS) compared with patients who experienced Grade 1-2 or no neurologic events or Grade 1-2 or no CRS, respectively.
“ZUMA-7 demonstrated that axi-cel is superior to standard of care across common prognostic subgroups, including tumor burden,” said Frederick L. Locke, MD, ZUMA-7 principal investigator and Chair of the Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy at Moffitt Cancer Center. “These findings are further supported by this analysis which is the first-ever report to examine metabolic tumor volume in a large, randomized, prospective relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma study.”
The Yescarta U.S. Prescribing Information has a BOXED WARNING for the risks of CRS and neurologic toxicities, and Yescarta is approved with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) due to these risks; see below for Important Safety Information.
About Large B-Cell Lymphoma (LBCL)
Globally, LBCL is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). In the United States, more than 18,000 people are diagnosed with LBCL each year. About 30-40% of patients with LBCL will need second-line treatment, as their cancer will either relapse (return) or become refractory (not respond) to initial treatment.
Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.
YESCARTA is a CD19-directed genetically modified autologous T cell immunotherapy indicated for the treatment of:
- Adult patients with large B-cell lymphoma that is refractory to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or that relapses within 12 months of first-line chemoimmunotherapy.
Adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, high grade B-cell lymphoma, and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma.
Limitations of Use: YESCARTA is not indicated for the treatment of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma.
- Adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trial(s).
U.S. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
BOXED WARNING: CYTOKINE RELEASE SYNDROME AND NEUROLOGIC TOXICITIES
- Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), including fatal or life-threatening reactions, occurred in patients receiving YESCARTA. Do not administer YESCARTA to patients with active infection or inflammatory disorders. Treat severe or life-threatening CRS with tocilizumab or tocilizumab and corticosteroids.
- Neurologic toxicities, including fatal or life-threatening reactions, occurred in patients receiving YESCARTA, including concurrently with CRS or after CRS resolution. Monitor for neurologic toxicities after treatment with YESCARTA. Provide supportive care and/or corticosteroids as needed.
- YESCARTA is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called the YESCARTA and TECARTUS REMS Program.
CYTOKINE RELEASE SYNDROME (CRS)
CRS, including fatal or life-threatening reactions, occurred. CRS occurred in 90% (379/422) of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), including ≥ Grade 3 in 9%. CRS occurred in 93% (256/276) of patients with large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL), including ≥ Grade 3 in 9%. Among patients with LBCL who died after receiving YESCARTA, 4 had ongoing CRS events at the time of death. For patients with LBCL in ZUMA-1, the median time to onset of CRS was 2 days following infusion (range: 1-12 days) and the median duration was 7 days (range: 2-58 days). For patients with LBCL in ZUMA-7, the median time to onset of CRS was 3 days following infusion (range: 1-10 days) and the median duration was 7 days (range: 2-43 days). CRS occurred in 84% (123/146) of patients with indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (iNHL) in ZUMA-5, including ≥ Grade 3 in 8%. Among patients with iNHL who died after receiving YESCARTA, 1 patient had an ongoing CRS event at the time of death. The median time to onset of CRS was 4 days (range: 1-20 days) and median duration was 6 days (range: 1-27 days) for patients with iNHL.
Key manifestations of CRS (≥ 10%) in all patients combined included fever (85%), hypotension (40%), tachycardia (32%), chills (22%), hypoxia (20%), headache (15%), and fatigue (12%). Serious events that may be associated with CRS include cardiac arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia), renal insufficiency, cardiac failure, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, capillary leak syndrome, multi-organ failure, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome.
The impact of tocilizumab and/or corticosteroids on the incidence and severity of CRS was assessed in 2 subsequent cohorts of LBCL patients in ZUMA-1. Among patients who received tocilizumab and/or corticosteroids for ongoing Grade 1 events, CRS occurred in 93% (38/41), including 2% (1/41) with Grade 3 CRS; no patients experienced a Grade 4 or 5 event. The median time to onset of CRS was 2 days (range: 1-8 days) and the median duration of CRS was 7 days (range: 2-16 days). Prophylactic treatment with corticosteroids was administered to a cohort of 39 patients for 3 days beginning on the day of infusion of YESCARTA. Thirty-one of the 39 patients (79%) developed CRS and were managed with tocilizumab and/or therapeutic doses of corticosteroids with no patients developing ≥ Grade 3 CRS. The median time to onset of CRS was 5 days (range: 1-15 days) and the median duration of CRS was 4 days (range: 1-10 days). Although there is no known mechanistic explanation, consider the risk and benefits of prophylactic corticosteroids in the context of pre-existing comorbidities for the individual patient and the potential for the risk of Grade 4 and prolonged neurologic toxicities.
Ensure that 2 doses of tocilizumab are available prior to YESCARTA infusion. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of CRS at least daily for 7 days at the certified healthcare facility, and for 4 weeks thereafter. Counsel patients to seek immediate medical attention should signs or symptoms of CRS occur at any time. At the first sign of CRS, institute treatment with supportive care, tocilizumab, or tocilizumab and corticosteroids as indicated.
Neurologic toxicities (including immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome) that were fatal or life-threatening occurred. Neurologic toxicities occurred in 78% (330/422) of all patients with NHL receiving YESCARTA, including ≥ Grade 3 in 25%. Neurologic toxicities occurred in 87% (94/108) of patients with LBCL in ZUMA-1, including ≥ Grade 3 in 31% and in 74% (124/168) of patients in ZUMA-7 including ≥ Grade 3 in 25%. The median time to onset was 4 days (range: 1-43 days) and the median duration was 17 days for patients with LBCL in ZUMA-1. The median time to onset for neurologic toxicity was 5 days (range: 1-133 days) and median duration was 15 days in patients with LBCL in ZUMA-7. Neurologic toxicities occurred in 77% (112/146) of patients with iNHL, including ≥ Grade 3 in 21%. The median time to onset was 6 days (range: 1-79 days) and the median duration was 16 days. Ninety-eight percent of all neurologic toxicities in patients with LBCL and 99% of all neurologic toxicities in patients with iNHL occurred within the first 8 weeks of YESCARTA infusion. Neurologic toxicities occurred within the first 7 days of infusion for 87% of affected patients with LBCL and 74% of affected patients with iNHL.
The most common neurologic toxicities (≥ 10%) in all patients combined included encephalopathy (50%), headache (43%), tremor (29%), dizziness (21%), aphasia (17%), delirium (15%), and insomnia (10%). Prolonged encephalopathy lasting up to 173 days was noted. Serious events, including aphasia, leukoencephalopathy, dysarthria, lethargy, and seizures occurred. Fatal and serious cases of cerebral edema and encephalopathy, including late-onset encephalopathy, have occurred.
The impact of tocilizumab and/or corticosteroids on the incidence and severity of neurologic toxicities was assessed in 2 subsequent cohorts of LBCL patients in ZUMA-1. Among patients who received corticosteroids at the onset of Grade 1 toxicities, neurologic toxicities occurred in 78% (32/41) and 20% (8/41) had Grade 3 neurologic toxicities; no patients experienced a Grade 4 or 5 event. The median time to onset of neurologic toxicities was 6 days (range: 1-93 days) with a median duration of 8 days (range: 1-144 days). Prophylactic treatment with corticosteroids was administered to a cohort of 39 patients for 3 days beginning on the day of infusion of YESCARTA. Of those patients, 85% (33/39) developed neurologic toxicities, 8% (3/39) developed Grade 3, and 5% (2/39) developed Grade 4 neurologic toxicities. The median time to onset of neurologic toxicities was 6 days (range: 1-274 days) with a median duration of 12 days (range: 1-107 days). Prophylactic corticosteroids for management of CRS and neurologic toxicities may result in higher grade of neurologic toxicities or prolongation of neurologic toxicities, delay the onset and decrease the duration of CRS.
Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of neurologic toxicities at least daily for 7 days at the certified healthcare facility, and for 4 weeks thereafter, and treat promptly.
Because of the risk of CRS and neurologic toxicities, YESCARTA is available only through a restricted program called the YESCARTA and TECARTUS REMS Program which requires that: Healthcare facilities that dispense and administer YESCARTA must be enrolled and comply with the REMS requirements and must have on-site, immediate access to a minimum of 2 doses of tocilizumab for each patient for infusion within 2 hours after YESCARTA infusion, if needed for treatment of CRS. Certified healthcare facilities must ensure that healthcare providers who prescribe, dispense, or administer YESCARTA are trained about the management of CRS and neurologic toxicities. Further information is available at www.YescartaTecartusREMS.com or 1-844-454-KITE (5483).
Allergic reactions, including serious hypersensitivity reactions or anaphylaxis, may occur with the infusion of YESCARTA.
Severe or life-threatening infections occurred. Infections (all grades) occurred in 45% of patients with NHL. ≥ Grade 3 infections occurred in 17% of patients, including ≥ Grade 3 infections with an unspecified pathogen in 12%, bacterial infections in 5%, viral infections in 3%, and fungal infections in 1%. YESCARTA should not be administered to patients with clinically significant active systemic infections. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infection before and after infusion and treat appropriately. Administer prophylactic antimicrobials according to local guidelines.
Febrile neutropenia was observed in 36% of all patients with NHL and may be concurrent with CRS. In the event of febrile neutropenia, evaluate for infection and manage with broad-spectrum antibiotics, fluids, and other supportive care as medically indicated.
In immunosuppressed patients, including those who have received YESCARTA, life-threatening and fatal opportunistic infections including disseminated fungal infections (e.g., candida sepsis and aspergillus infections) and viral reactivation (e.g., human herpes virus-6 [HHV-6] encephalitis and JC virus progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy [PML]) have been reported. The possibility of HHV-6 encephalitis and PML should be considered in immunosuppressed patients with neurologic events and appropriate diagnostic evaluations should be performed.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation, in some cases resulting in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death, can occur in patients treated with drugs directed against B cells, including YESCARTA. Perform screening for HBV, HCV, and HIV in accordance with clinical guidelines before collection of cells for manufacturing.
Patients may exhibit cytopenias for several weeks following lymphodepleting chemotherapy and YESCARTA infusion. ≥ Grade 3 cytopenias not resolved by Day 30 following YESCARTA infusion occurred in 39% of all patients with NHL and included neutropenia (33%), thrombocytopenia (13%), and anemia (8%). Monitor blood counts after infusion.
B-cell aplasia and hypogammaglobulinemia can occur. Hypogammaglobulinemia was reported as an adverse reaction in 14% of all patients with NHL. Monitor immunoglobulin levels after treatment and manage using infection precautions, antibiotic prophylaxis, and immunoglobulin replacement. The safety of immunization with live viral vaccines during or following YESCARTA treatment has not been studied. Vaccination with live virus vaccines is not recommended for at least 6 weeks prior to the start of lymphodepleting chemotherapy, during YESCARTA treatment, and until immune recovery following treatment.
Secondary malignancies may develop. Monitor life-long for secondary malignancies. In the event that one occurs, contact Kite at 1-844-454-KITE (5483) to obtain instructions on patient samples to collect for testing.
EFFECTS ON ABILITY TO DRIVE AND USE MACHINES
Due to the potential for neurologic events, including altered mental status or seizures, patients are at risk for altered or decreased consciousness or coordination in the 8 weeks following YESCARTA infusion. Advise patients to refrain from driving and engaging in hazardous occupations or activities, such as operating heavy or potentially dangerous machinery, during this initial period.
The most common non-laboratory adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 20%) in patients with LBCL in ZUMA-7 included fever, CRS, fatigue, hypotension, encephalopathy, tachycardia, diarrhea, headache, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, febrile neutropenia, chills, cough, infection with unspecified pathogen, dizziness, tremor, decreased appetite, edema, hypoxia, abdominal pain, aphasia, constipation, and vomiting.
The most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 20%) in patients with LBCL in ZUMA-1 included CRS, fever, hypotension, encephalopathy, tachycardia, fatigue, headache, decreased appetite, chills, diarrhea, febrile neutropenia, infections with pathogen unspecified, nausea, hypoxia, tremor, cough, vomiting, dizziness, constipation, and cardiac arrhythmias.
The most common non-laboratory adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 20%) in patients with iNHL in ZUMA-5 included fever, CRS, hypotension, encephalopathy, fatigue, headache, infections with pathogen unspecified, tachycardia, febrile neutropenia, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, tremor, chills, diarrhea, constipation, decreased appetite, cough, vomiting, hypoxia, arrhythmia, and dizziness.
Kite, a Gilead Company, is a global biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California, focused on cell therapy to treat and potentially cure cancer. As the global cell therapy leader, Kite has treated more patients with CAR T-cell therapy than any other company. Kite has the largest in-house cell therapy manufacturing network in the world, spanning process development, vector manufacturing, clinical trial production and commercial product manufacturing. For more information on Kite, please visit www.kitepharma.com.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
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 the potential benefits of Yescarta for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma; the possibility of unfavorable results from ongoing and additional clinical trials involving Yescarta; and the possibility that Yescarta may not receive the necessary regulatory approvals for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma in the anticipated timelines or at all, and the risk that any such approvals, if granted, may have significant limitation on its use. These and other risks, uncertainties and other factors are described in detail in Gilead’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2022, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Kite and Gilead, and Kite and Gilead assume no obligation and disclaim any intent to update any such forward-looking statements.
U.S. Prescribing Information for Yescarta including BOXED WARNING, is available at www.kitepharma.com and www.gilead.com .
Kite, the Kite logo, Yescarta, Tecartus, XLP and GILEAD are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc. or its related companies .
For more information on Kite, please visit the company’s website at www.kitepharma.com . Follow Kite on social media on Twitter ( @KitePharma ) and LinkedIn .
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Jacquie Ross, Investors
Anna Padula, Media
Source: Gilead Sciences, Inc.