Exelixis and its partner Ipsen announce positive overall survival results from subgroup analyses of phase 3 trial of CABOMETYX™ (cabozantinib) tablets in advanced renal cell carcinoma at 2016 ASCO annual meeting


Exelixis, Inc. and Ipsen today announced the presentation of positive data from subgroup analyses of the pivotal METEOR trial comparing CABOMETYX™ (cabozantinib) tablets with everolimus in 658 patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who have received prior anti-angiogenic therapy. The data will be presented in two posters today at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, which is being held June 3-7 in Chicago, by Bernard Escudier, M.D., chair, Genitourinary Oncology Committee, Institut Gustave Roussy and Thomas Powles, M.D., clinical professor of genitourinary oncology, Barts Cancer Institute. The findings demonstrate that benefits of CABOMETYX™ in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were independent of the presence of bone metastases, prior anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy, and the type of prior vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy.

“These additional analyses demonstrate the value of CABOMETYX™ for advanced kidney cancer, showing consistent improvement in PFS and OS across multiple subgroups of patients in the METEOR trial,” said Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Exelixis. “We are dedicated to exploring the full potential of CABOMETYX™ to help as many patients as possible.”

In the first of the two presentations, treatment with CABOMETYX™ was associated with improved PFS and OS in patients who had bone metastases at baseline (n=142). Median PFS was 7.4 months with CABOMETYX™ versus 2.7 months with everolimus (HR=0.33, 95% CI 0.21-0.51), and median OS was 20.1 months versus 12.1 months, respectively (HR=0.54, 95% CI 0.34-0.84).

For patients who had both bone and visceral metastases (n=112), median PFS was 5.6 months with CABOMETYX™ and 1.9 months with everolimus (HR=0.26, 95% CI 0.16-0.43). Median OS was 20.1 months versus 10.7 months, respectively (HR=0.45, 95% CI 0.28-0.72). The safety profile of CABOMETYX™ for the subgroup with bone metastases was consistent with that of the overall METEOR trial.

“Patients whose kidney cancer has spread to their bones traditionally have a poorer prognosis and worse treatment outcomes compared with those who do not have bone involvement,” said Dr. Escudier. “CABOMETYX™ demonstrated a clinically meaningful benefit for those with bone metastases, which is encouraging for physicians and patients who are seeking additional therapeutic options.”

In the second presentation, outcomes were evaluated based on the prior therapy patients had received before entering the METEOR trial. OS and PFS benefits were consistent across all subgroups evaluated (see table below), including number of prior VEGFR TKIs (one or more than one), specific prior VEGFR TKI (sunitinib or pazopanib) in patients who had only one prior VEGFR TKI therapy, and prior treatment with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies. Adverse events in the treatment subgroups were similar to those in the overall study population and were managed with dose reductions.


Table. OS and PFS in METEOR by Subgroup

Subgroup  n Median OS (months) HOS Hazard Ratio (95% CI) Median PFS (months) PFS Hazard Ratio (95% CI)
CABOMETYX™ Everolimus CABOMETYX™ Everolimus
Number of prior VEGFR TKIs 
1  464  21,4  16,5  0,65 (0,50- 0,85) 7,4  3,8  0,52 (0,41- 0,66)
≥2   194  20,8  17,2   0,73 (0,48- 1,10)    7,4 4,0   0,51 (0,35- 0,74)
Only prior VEGFR TKI
 Sunitinib 267  21,4  16,5 0,66 (0,47- 0,93)   9,1 3,7  0,43 (0,32- 0,59)
 Pazopanib 171  22,0 17,5 0,66 (0,42- 1,04)   4,7 5,1 0,67 (0,45- 0,99)
Prior anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy 
 No 626 21,4 16,5 0,68 (0,54- 0,85)   7,4 3,9 0,54 (0,44- 0,66)
 Yes 32 Not estimable 16,3 0,56 (0,21- 1,52) Not estimable 4,1 0,22 (0,07- 0,65)


“These findings demonstrate that the benefit of CABOMETYX™ for patients was robust and consistent regardless of prior treatment, location and extent of tumor metastases,” said Marc de Garidel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ipsen.

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. CABOMETYX™, which was granted Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy designations by the FDA, is the first approved single agent therapy to demonstrate, in a phase 3 trial for patients with advanced RCC, robust and clinically meaningful improvements in all three key efficacy parameters — OS, PFS and objective response rate .


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 patients. 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 rate 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. 1

CABOMETYX™ also demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful increase in OS in the METEOR trial. Compared with everolimus, CABOMETYX™ was associated with a 34 percent reduction in the rate of death. Median OS was 21.4 months for patients receiving CABOMETYX™ versus 16.5 months for those receiving everolimus (HR=0.66, 95% CI 0.53-0.83, P=0.0003).

Cabozantinib benefit in OS was robust and consistent across all pre-specified subgroups. In particular, benefit was observed regardless of risk category, location and extent of tumor metastases, and tumor MET expression level. These results were presented on June 5, 2016 at the ASCO Annual Meeting and concurrently published in The Lancet Oncology. 2

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.


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



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.

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