LENVIMA was granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA for this indication, and the application received Priority Review, which is assigned to drugs the FDA believes have the potential to provide a significant improvement in the treatment of a serious condition.
In Study 205, a Phase 2 trial, LENVIMA and everolimus (LEN+EVE) resulted in a median PFS nearly three times that of everolimus alone. The median PFS, or the length of time from randomization until disease progression or death, in patients treated with the combination (n=51) was 14.6 months (95% CI: 5.9–20.1) compared with 5.5 months (95% CI: 3.5–7.1) for those treated with everolimus alone (n=50) (HR 0.37; 95% CI: 0.22–0.62). The combination regimen resulted in a 63% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death compared with everolimus alone. The treatment effect of the combination on PFS was supported by a retrospective independent review.
The objective response rate was 37% (95% CI: 24–52) in patients treated with the combination regimen (35% partial response + 2% complete response) compared to 6% (all partial response, 95% CI: 1–17) in patients treated with everolimus alone.
The patients who received LEN+EVE experienced a 10.1-month increase in median OS compared with those who received everolimus monotherapy (25.5 months [95% CI: 16.4–32.1] versus 15.4 months [95% CI: 11.8–20.6]; HR 0.67; 95% CI: 0.42–1.08). This OS analysis was conducted when 63% of deaths had occurred in the combination arm and 74% of deaths had occurred in the everolimus arm.
The safety of this combination regimen was also examined in Study 205. Serious risks from treatment with the combination of LENVIMA and everolimus may include hypertension, cardiac dysfunction, arterial thromboembolic events, hepatotoxicity, proteinuria, diarrhea, renal failure and impairment, gastrointestinal perforation and fistula formation, QT interval prolongation, hypocalcemia, reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome, hemorrhagic events, impairment of thyroid-stimulating hormone suppression/thyroid dysfunction, and embryofetal toxicity. The most common adverse reactions observed in study patients treated with LENVIMA and everolimus (greater than 30%) were, in order of decreasing frequency, diarrhea, fatigue, arthralgia/myalgia, decreased appetite, vomiting, nausea, stomatitis/oral inflammation, hypertension, peripheral edema, cough, abdominal pain, dyspnea, rash, weight decreased, hemorrhagic events and proteinuria. The most common serious adverse reactions (greater than or equal to 5%) were renal failure (11%), dehydration (10%), anemia (6%), thrombocytopenia (5%), diarrhea (5%), vomiting (5%) and dyspnea (5%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions or interruption in 89% of patients receiving LENVIMA and everolimus and 54% in patients receiving everolimus. The most common adverse reactions (greater than or equal to 5%) resulting in dose reductions in patients treated with LENVIMA and everolimus were diarrhea (21%), fatigue (8%), thrombocytopenia (6%), vomiting (6%), nausea (5%) and proteinuria (5%).
Treating physicians are likely to be familiar with many of the adverse reactions observed for this combination regimen based on their prior experience with these types of drugs. Prescribers may be able to manage certain adverse reactions (such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and hypertension) with a proactive plan that includes concomitant medications and/or dose reductions, interruptions and/or discontinuations.
“Rates of renal cell carcinoma have been on the rise over the past several decades, and unfortunately, advanced RCC remains an incurable disease. Since the VEGF pathway is known to be involved in the growth of renal cell tumors, it is important to have a diverse offering of therapeutic options, including treatments that continue to target VEGF inhibition,” said Sumanta Kumar Pal, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research and Co-Director, Kidney Cancer Program at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. “The combination regimen of lenvatinib and everolimus provides a new treatment for patients with advanced RCC whose disease continues to progress despite prior treatment with an anti-angiogenic therapy.”
LENVIMA was first approved in the U.S. on February 13, 2015, for patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC).
“By bringing this breakthrough treatment to patients with advanced RCC, Eisai now offers an efficacious option in a second difficult-to-treat tumor type, just 15 months after its initial approval, and we look forward to continued exploration of LENVIMA in additional malignancies,” said Alton Kremer, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Medical Officer, Oncology Business Group at Eisai. “This also marks the second time in four months that one of Eisai’s oncology treatments has been granted a new indication following Priority Review from the FDA. These milestones, as well as the ongoing development of innovative agents in our pipeline, underscore our steadfast commitment to Eisai’s human health care (hhc) mission of identifying and addressing the unmet needs of people living with cancer.”
About Study 205
Study 205, the Phase 2 study, was a multicenter, randomized trial in patients (n=153) with unresectable advanced or metastatic RCC who were previously treated with an anti-angiogenic therapy and randomized 1:1:1 to receive a combination of 18 mg LENVIMA plus 5 mg everolimus once a day, LENVIMA only (24 mg once a day) or everolimus only (10 mg once a day) administered orally in continuous 28-day cycles until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary efficacy endpoint of this study was investigator-assessed PFS. Other endpoints of the study included ORR, OS and safety.
The results of this study were published online in The Lancet Oncology in October 2015, following an oral presentation at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.
About Renal Cell Carcinoma
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC), also known as renal cell cancer or renal cell adenocarcinoma, is the most common type of kidney cancer, representing about 90% of cases in the United States. Renal cell carcinoma occurs when malignant cells are found in the lining of the tubules in the kidney. While RCC usually grows as a single tumor within a kidney, there may also be two or more tumors in one or both kidneys. In 2016, it is estimated that there will be approximately 62,700 new cases of kidney cancer, and about 14,240 people will die from the disease. Approximately 16% of patients with RCC will have metastases at diagnosis, and as many as 40% will demonstrate metastasis after primary surgical treatment for localized RCC. With a 5-year survival rate ranging from 5% to 12%, the prognosis for these patients is poor.
About LENVIMA® (lenvatinib)
LENVIMA® (lenvatinib) is a kinase inhibitor that is indicated for:
- Differentiated Thyroid Cancer (DTC): single agent for patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, radioactive iodine-refractory DTC.
- Renal Cell Cancer (RCC): in combination with everolimus for patients with advanced RCC following one prior anti-angiogenic therapy.
Lenvatinib, discovered and developed by Eisai, is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor that inhibits the kinase activities of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors VEGFR1-3. Lenvatinib also inhibits other RTKs that have been implicated in pathogenic angiogenesis, tumor growth, and cancer progression in addition to their normal cellular functions, including fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors FGFR1-4; the platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα), KIT, and RET. The combination of lenvatinib and everolimus showed increased anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor activity as demonstrated by decreased human endothelial cell proliferation, tube formation, and VEGF signaling in vitro and tumor volume in mouse xenograft models of human renal cell cancer greater than each drug alone.
Important Safety Information
Warnings and Precautions
- In DTC, hypertension was reported in 73% of patients on LENVIMA vs 16% with placebo (44% vs 4% grade ≥3). In RCC, hypertension was reported in 42% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 10% with everolimus alone (13% vs 2% grade 3). Blood pressure should be controlled prior to treatment and monitored throughout. Withhold dose for grade 3 hypertension despite optimal antihypertensive therapy; resume at reduced dose when controlled at grade ≤2. Discontinue for life-threatening hypertension
- In DTC, cardiac dysfunction was reported in 7% of patients on LENVIMA vs 2% with placebo (2% vs 0% grade ≥3). In RCC, cardiac dysfunction was reported in 10% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 6% with everolimus alone (3% vs 2% grade 3). Monitor for signs/symptoms of cardiac decompensation. Withhold for grade 3 cardiac dysfunction. Resume at reduced dose or discontinue based on severity and persistence of cardiac dysfunction. Discontinue for grade 4 cardiac dysfunction
- In DTC, arterial thromboembolic events were reported in 5% of patients on LENVIMA vs 2% with placebo (3% vs 1% grade ≥3). In RCC, arterial thromboembolic events were reported in 2% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 6% with everolimus alone (2% vs 4% grade ≥3). Discontinue following an arterial thrombotic event. The safety of resuming LENVIMA after an arterial thromboembolic event has not been established, and LENVIMA has not been studied in patients who have had an arterial thromboembolic event within the previous 6 months
- Across clinical studies in which 1,160 patients received LENVIMA monotherapy, hepatic failure (including fatal events) was reported in 3 patients and acute hepatitis in 1 patient. In DTC, ALT and AST increases (grade ≥3) occurred in 4% and 5% of patients on LENVIMA, respectively, vs 0% with placebo. In RCC, ALT and AST increases (grade ≥3) occurred in 3% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 2% and 0% with everolimus alone, respectively. Monitor liver function before initiation, then every 2 weeks for the first 2 months, and at least monthly thereafter during treatment. Withhold dose for liver impairment grade ≥3 until resolved to grade 0, 1, or baseline. Resume at reduced dose or discontinue based on severity/persistence of hepatotoxicity. Discontinue for hepatic failure
- In DTC, proteinuria was reported in 34% of patients on LENVIMA vs 3% with placebo (11% vs 0% grade 3). In RCC, proteinuria was reported in 31% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 14% with everolimus alone (8% vs 2% grade 3). Monitor for proteinuria before and during treatment. Withhold dose for proteinuria ≥2 g/24 h. Resume at reduced dose when proteinuria is <2 g/24 h. Discontinue for nephrotic syndrome
- In RCC, diarrhea was reported in 81% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 34% with everolimus alone (19% vs 2% grade ≥3). Initiate prompt medical management for the development of diarrhea. Monitor for dehydration. Withhold dose for diarrhea grade ≥3. Resume at a reduced dose when diarrhea resolves to grade 1 or baseline. Discontinue for grade 4 diarrhea despite medical management
- In DTC, events of renal impairment were reported in 14% of patients on LENVIMA vs 2% with placebo (3% vs 1% grade ≥3). In RCC, events of renal impairment were reported in 18% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 12% with everolimus alone (10% vs 2% grade ≥3). Withhold LENVIMA for grade 3 or 4 renal failure/impairment. Resume at reduced dose or discontinue, depending on severity/persistence of renal impairment. Active management of diarrhea and any other gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms should be initiated for grade 1 events
- In DTC, events of GI perforation or fistula were reported in 2% of patients on LENVIMA vs 0.8% with placebo. In RCC, events of GI perforation, abscess, or fistula (grade ≥3) were reported in 2% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 0% with everolimus alone. Discontinue in patients who develop GI perforation or life-threatening fistula
- In DTC, QT/QTc interval prolongation was reported in 9% of patients on LENVIMA vs 2% with placebo (2% vs 0% >500 ms). In RCC, QTc interval increases >60 ms were reported in 11% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus (6% >500 ms) vs 0% with everolimus alone. Monitor electrocardiograms in patients with congenital long QT syndrome, congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, or patients taking drugs known to prolong the QT interval. Monitor and correct electrolyte abnormalities in all patients. Withhold dose for QTc interval prolongation >500 ms. Resume at reduced dose when QTc prolongation resolves to baseline
- In DTC, hypocalcemia (grade ≥3) was reported in 9% of patients on LENVIMA vs 2% with placebo. In RCC, hypocalcemia (grade ≥3) was reported in 6% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 2% with everolimus alone. Monitor blood calcium levels at least monthly and replace calcium as necessary. Interrupt and adjust LENVIMA as necessary
- Across clinical studies in which 1,160 patients received LENVIMA monotherapy, reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS) was reported in 4 patients. Withhold LENVIMA for RPLS until fully resolved. Resume at reduced dose or discontinue based on the severity and persistence of neurologic symptoms
- In DTC, hemorrhagic events occurred in 35% of patients on LENVIMA vs 18% with placebo (2% vs 3% grade ≥3). The most frequently reported hemorrhagic event was epistaxis (11% grade 1, 1% grade 2). Discontinuation due to hemorrhagic events occurred in 1% of patients on LENVIMA. There was 1 fatal intracranial hemorrhage case among 16 patients who received LENVIMA and had central nervous system metastases at baseline. In RCC, hemorrhagic events occurred in 34% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 26% with everolimus alone (8% vs 2% grade ≥3). The most frequently reported hemorrhagic event was epistaxis (23% for LENVIMA + everolimus vs 24% with everolimus alone). There was 1 fatal cerebral hemorrhage case. Discontinuation due to hemorrhagic events occurred in 3% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus. Consider the risk of severe or fatal hemorrhage associated with tumor invasion/infiltration of major blood vessels (eg, carotid artery). Withhold dose for grade 3 hemorrhage. Resume at reduced dose or discontinue based on severity/persistence of hemorrhage. Discontinue for grade 4 hemorrhage
- In DTC patients with normal baseline thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), elevation of TSH level above 0.5 mU/L was observed postbaseline in 57% of patients on LENVIMA vs 14% with placebo. In RCC, grade 1 or 2 hypothyroidism occurred in 24% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 2% with everolimus alone. In RCC patients with normal or low TSH at baseline, elevation of TSH was observed postbaseline in 60% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus vs 3% with everolimus alone. Monitor thyroid function prior to treatment initiation and monthly thereafter. Treat hypothyroidism according to standard medical practice to maintain a euthyroid state
- LENVIMA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with LENVIMA and for at least 2 weeks following completion of therapy
- In DTC, the most common adverse reactions observed in LENVIMA-treated patients vs placebo-treated patients were hypertension (73% vs 16%), fatigue (67% vs 35%), diarrhea (67% vs 17%), arthralgia/myalgia (62% vs 28%), decreased appetite (54% vs 18%), weight decrease (51% vs 15%), nausea (47% vs 25%), stomatitis (41% vs 8%), headache (38% vs 11%), vomiting (36% vs 15%), proteinuria (34% vs 3%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (32% vs 1%), abdominal pain (31% vs 11%), and dysphonia (31% vs 5%)
- In DTC, adverse reactions led to dose reductions in 68% of patients receiving LENVIMA and in 5% of patients receiving placebo; 18% of patients discontinued LENVIMA and 5% discontinued placebo for adverse reactions. The most common adverse reactions (≥10%) resulting in dose reductions of LENVIMA were hypertension (13%), proteinuria (11%), decreased appetite (10%), and diarrhea (10%); the most common adverse reactions (≥1%) resulting in discontinuation of LENVIMA were hypertension (1%) and asthenia (1%)
- In RCC, the most common adverse reactions observed in patients treated with LENVIMA + everolimus vs everolimus alone were diarrhea (81% vs 34%), fatigue (73% vs 40%), arthralgia/myalgia (55% vs 32%), decreased appetite (53% vs 18%), vomiting (48% vs 12%), nausea (45% vs 16%), stomatitis/oral inflammation (44% vs 50%), hypertension/increased blood pressure (42% vs 10%), peripheral edema (42% vs 20%), cough (37% vs 30%), abdominal pain (37% vs 8%), dyspnea/exertional dyspnea (35% vs 28%), rash (35% vs 40%), weight decreased (34% vs 8%), hemorrhagic events (32% vs 26%), and proteinuria/urine protein present (31% vs 14%)
- In RCC, adverse reactions led to dose reductions or interruption in 89% of patients receiving LENVIMA + everolimus and in 54% of patients receiving everolimus. The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) resulting in dose reductions in the LENVIMA + everolimus–treated group were diarrhea (21%), fatigue (8%), thrombocytopenia (6%), vomiting (6%), nausea (5%), and proteinuria (5%). Treatment discontinuation due to an adverse reaction occurred in 29% of patients in the LENVIMA + everolimus–treated group and in 12% of patients in the everolimus-treated group
Use in Specific Populations
- Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, advise women to discontinue breastfeeding during treatment
- LENVIMA may result in reduced fertility in females of reproductive potential and may result in damage to male reproductive tissues, leading to reduced fertility of unknown duration
For more information about LENVIMA, click here for the full Prescribing Information.
About Eisai Inc.
At Eisai Inc., human health care is our goal. We give our first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., we have a passionate commitment to patient care that is the driving force behind our efforts to discover and develop innovative therapies to help address unmet medical needs.
Eisai is a fully integrated pharmaceutical business that operates in two global business groups: oncology and neurology (dementia-related diseases and neurodegenerative diseases). Each group functions as an end-to-end global business with discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Our U.S. headquarters, commercial and clinical development organizations are located in New Jersey; our discovery labs are in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania; and our global demand chain organization resides in Maryland and North Carolina. To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at www.eisai.com/US.
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