Exelixis and its partner Ipsen announce phase 3 trial results of CABOMETYX™ (cabozantinib) tablets demonstrating significant overall survival benefit for previously treated patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma presented at ASCO

 

Exelixis, Inc. and Ipsen today announced overall survival (OS) results from the phase 3 METEOR trial of CABOMETYX™ (cabozantinib) tablets in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who have received prior anti-angiogenic therapy. The findings will be presented during an oral abstract session today at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, and were published today in The Lancet Oncology. 1 The OS results demonstrate that CABOMETYX™ reduces the risk of death by one third versus everolimus.

Exelixis previously announced that METEOR met its primary endpoint, progression-free survival (PFS), and secondary endpoints OS and objective response rate .

The overall survival benefit conferred by treatment with CABOMETYX™ — which was consistently favorable across a variety of prespecified and post-hoc patient subgroups — is a strong complement to the progression-free survival and objective response rate findings previously reported,” said Toni Choueiri, M.D., Clinical Director, Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “With the recent FDA approval of CABOMETYX™, patients in need of additional options now have access to a differentiated treatment demonstrated to help them live longer while also delaying the progression of their cancer.”

In METEOR, at a median follow-up of nearly 19 months, CABOMETYX™ demonstrated an increase in median OS of nearly 5 months versus everolimus: 21.4 months versus 16.5 months for everolimus (HR 0.66, 95% CI [ 0.53 – 0.83 ], P=0.0003), corresponding to a 34 percent reduction in the risk of death.

CABOMETYX™ treatment resulted in consistent benefits in OS and PFS across various prespecified and post-hoc analysis subgroups. Benefits were independent of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center risk group (favorable, intermediate, or poor), number and type of prior vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapies (one, or more than one), duration of first VEGFR TKI treatment (6 months or less, or more than 6 months), presence of bone and/or visceral metastases, and levels of the MET biomarker in tumors (high, low, or unknown). Additional details on benefits seen in subgroups of patients based on the presence of bone metastases and prior VEGFR TKI therapy will be presented in a poster session at 1 p.m. CDT on June 6.

“We are excited to share the detailed overall survival results from the METEOR trial with the oncology community at this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting,” said Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Exelixis. “The five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer is only 12 percent, underscoring the need for new treatment options that help patients live longer while delaying the progression of their disease. Critically, CABOMETYX™ — the first FDA-approved therapy to demonstrate a benefit in all three key efficacy parameters — now shows consistent survival benefit across all subgroups of patients evaluated in METEOR.”

“Recent data from the METEOR trial confirms the benefit in median overall survival of almost 5 months that CABOMETYX™ can provide to patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma” said Marc de Garidel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ipsen. “We are dedicated to diligently working with Exelixis and regulatory authorities to bring cabozantinib to patients who seek new therapeutic options with established survival benefits.”

At the time of the analysis, the median duration of treatment in the trial was 8.3 months with CABOMETYX versus 4.4 months with everolimus. Dose reductions occurred for 62 percent and 25 percent of patients, respectively. Discontinuation rate due to an adverse event not related to disease progression was 12 percent with CABOMETYX™ and 11 percent with everolimus.

The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were hypertension (15 percent), diarrhea (13 percent) and fatigue (11 percent) in the CABOMETYX™ arm and anemia (17 percent), fatigue (7 percent) and hyperglycemia (5 percent) in the everolimus arm. Serious adverse events ≥ grade 3 occurred in 130 (39 percent) of cabozantinib-treated patients and in 129 (40 percent) of everolimus-treated patients.

On April 25, 2016 CABOMETYX was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with advanced RCC who have received prior anti-angiogenic therapy.

 

About the METEOR Phase 3 Pivotal Trial

METEOR was an open-label, event-driven trial of 658 patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma who had failed at least one prior VEGFR TKI therapy. The primary endpoint was PFS in the first 375 patients treated. Secondary endpoints included OS and objective response rate in all enrolled subjects. The trial was conducted at approximately 200 sites in 26 countries, and enrollment was weighted toward Western Europe, North America, and Australia. 

Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive 60 mg of CABOMETYX™ daily or 10 mg of everolimus daily and were stratified based on the number of prior VEGFR TKI therapies received and on MSKCC risk criteria. No cross-over was allowed between the study arms.

METEOR met its primary endpoint of significantly improving PFS. Compared with everolimus, CABOMETYX was associated with a 42 percent reduction in the risk of disease progression or death. Median PFS for CABOMETYX™ was 7.4 months versus 3.8 months for everolimus (HR=0.58, 95% CI 0.45-0.74, P<0.0001). CABOMETYX™ also significantly improved the objective response rate compared with everolimus (P<0.0001). These data were presented at the European Cancer Congress in September 2015 and published in The New England Journal of Medicine. 2

 

About Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

The American Cancer Society’s 2016 statistics cite kidney cancer as among the top ten most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer among both men and women in the U.S.3 Clear cell RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults.4 If detected in its early stages, the five-year survival rate for RCC is high; for patients with advanced or late-stage metastatic RCC, however, the five-year survival rate is only 12 percent, with no identified cure for the disease.3 Approximately 17,000 patients in the U.S. and 37,000 globally require second-line or later treatment.5

The majority of clear cell RCC tumors have lower than normal levels of a protein called von HippelLindau, which leads to higher levels of MET, AXL and VEGF.6,7 These proteins promote tumor angiogenesis (blood vessel growth), growth, invasiveness and metastasis.8-11 MET and AXL may provide escape pathways that drive resistance to VEGFR inhibitors.7,8

 

About CABOMETYX™

CABOMETYX targets include MET, AXL and VEGFR-1, -2 and -3. In preclinical models, cabozantinib has been shown to inhibit the activity of these receptors, which are involved in normal cellular function and pathologic processes such as tumor angiogenesis, invasiveness, metastasis and drug resistance.

CABOMETYX™, the tablet formulation of cabozantinib, is available in 20 mg, 40 mg or 60 mg doses. The recommended dose is 60 mg orally, once daily.

On April 25, 2016, the FDA approved CABOMETYX™ tablets for the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma who have received prior anti-angiogenic therapy.

On January 28, 2016, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) validated Exelixis’ Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for cabozantinib as a treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma who have received one prior therapy. The MAA has been granted accelerated assessment, making it eligible for a 150-day review, versus the standard 210 days. On February 29, 2016, Exelixis and Ipsen jointly announced an exclusive licensing agreement for the commercialization and further development of cabozantinib indications outside of the United States, Canada and Japan.

 

About Exelixis

Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines with the potential to improve care and outcomes for people with cancer. Since its founding in 1994, three medicines discovered at Exelixis have progressed through clinical development to receive regulatory approval. Currently, Exelixis is focused on advancing cabozantinib, an inhibitor of multiple tyrosine kinases including MET, AXL and VEGF receptors, which has shown clinical anti-tumor activity in more than 20 forms of cancer and is the subject of a broad clinical development program. Two separate formulations of cabozantinib have received regulatory approval to treat certain forms of kidney and thyroid cancer and are marketed for those purposes as CABOMETYX™ tablets (U.S.) and COMETRIQ® capsules (U.S. and EU), respectively. Another Exelixis-discovered compound, COTELLIC™ (cobimetinib), a selective inhibitor of MEK, has been approved in major territories including the United States and European Union, and is being evaluated for further potential indications by Roche and Genentech (a member of the Roche Group) under a collaboration with Exelixis. For more information on Exelixis, please visit www.exelixis.com or follow @ExelixisInc on Twitter.

 

Exelixis Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements related to: the presentation of OS results from the phase 3 METEOR trial at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting; the benefit that CABOMETYX can provide to patients with advanced RCC; the eligibility for an expedited review of Exelixis’ MAA for cabozantinib in advanced RCC by the EMA; Exelixis’ commitment to the discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines with the potential to improve care and outcomes for people with cancer; Exelixis’ focus on advancing cabozantinib; and the continued development of cobimetinib. Words such as “will,” “can,” “potential,” “eligible,” “committed,” “focused,” or other similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not necessarily mean that a statement is not forward-looking. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Exelixis’ current plans, assumptions, beliefs, expectations, estimates and projections. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation: the availability of data at the referenced times; the degree of market acceptance of CABOMETYX and the availability of coverage and reimbursement for CABOMETYX; the risk that unanticipated developments could adversely affect the commercialization of CABOMETYX; Exelixis’ dependence on its relationship with Ipsen, including, the level of Ipsen’s investment in the resources necessary to successfully commercialize cabozantinib in the territories where it is approved; risks and uncertainties related to regulatory review and approval processes and Exelixis’ compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements; Exelixis’ ability to conduct clinical trials of cabozantinib sufficient to achieve a positive completion; Exelixis’ dependence on its relationship with Genentech/Roche with respect to cobimetinib and Exelixis’ ability to maintain its rights under the collaboration; Exelixis’ ability to protect the company’s intellectual property rights; market competition; changes in economic and business conditions, and other factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in Exelixis’ annual report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 4, 2016, and in Exelixis’ future filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements made in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Exelixis expressly disclaims any duty, obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Exelixis’ expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based. 

 

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2. Choueiri TK, Escudier B, Powles T, et al. Cabozantinib versus Everolimus in Advanced RenalCell Carcinoma. N Engl J Med. 2015; 373(19):1814-1823.

3. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2016. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2016.

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5. Decision Resources Report: Renal Cell Carcinoma. October 2014 (internal data on file)

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11. Nakagawa M, Emoto A, Hanada T, Nasu N, Nomura Y. Tubulogenesis by microvascular endothelial cells is mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in renal cell carcinoma. Br J Urol. 1997; 79:681-687.

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