Journal of Clinical Oncology Publishes Data on Overall Survival Benefit of VELCADE (Bortezomib) for Injection in Patients with Previously Untreated Multiple Myeloma

-- Front-line use of VELCADE with melphalan and prednisone improves clinical benefit compared to conventional treatment --

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 29, 2010 - Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company today announced the publication of results from the 682-patient, randomized, international Phase III VISTA1 trial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). The results continue to show an extension in the length of life for patients taking VELCADE, melphalan and prednisone (VcMP) in the front-line setting compared to MP alone.

The VISTA study is the largest Phase III registration trial in previously untreated multiple myeloma patients ineligible for stem cell transplantation. These data were the basis for the approval of VELCADE in the front-line setting in June 2008 and were subsequently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The JCO article contains updated data from the VISTA trial presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

The published data showed a 35 percent reduced risk of death with VcMP versus MP alone (hazard ratio 0.65), demonstrating a significant survival benefit for patients in the VcMP arm.

Based on these updated positive trial results, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for VELCADE in December 2009, expanding the label to include long-term Overall Survival (OS) data (at a median follow-up of 36.7 months). VELCADE remains the only front-line multiple myeloma treatment that has demonstrated this type of significant survival advantage for patients and that includes data supporting an OS advantage in its label across all lines of therapy.

"Prolonging the patient's overall survival is the ultimate goal in multiple myeloma treatment," said Maria-Victoria Mateos, M.D., Ph.D., Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, lead author of the study. "For the first time in the front-line setting, we have data from a long enough follow-up, confirming that VcMP results in a significantly longer overall survival than a standard of care, both overall and in patients who received subsequent therapy. This supports the addition of VELCADE to MP in the front line setting, rather than the use of MP followed by novel agents.”

“These data underscore the importance of using VELCADE upfront, as it provides a long-term improvement in overall survival,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Millennium.

Patients in the VcMP arm of the VISTA study received nine 6-week cycles of VELCADE at 1.3 mg/m2 (days 1, 4, 8, 11, 22, 25, 29 and 32 in cycles 1 through 4 and days 1, 8, 22 and 29 in cycles 5 through 9) with melphalan 9 mg/m2 and prednisone 60 mg/m2 (days 1 through 4 in cycles 1 through 9), or melphalan plus prednisone, in the same dose and schedule administered to the patients in the VcMP arm. Patients remained on VcMP therapy for a median of 46 weeks (eight cycles) out of the planned nine cycles versus 39 weeks (seven cycles) with melphalan and prednisone.

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is the second most common hematologic malignancy. In the U.S., more than 60,000 individuals have MM and 20,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Worldwide there are approximately 74,000 new cases and over 45,000 deaths annually.

About VISTA

The international Phase III VISTA trial was conducted by Millennium and its co-development partner Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development (JJPRD). The trial randomized 682 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, ineligible for stem cell transplantation, to receive either VELCADE, melphalan and prednisone (VcMP) or melphalan and prednisone (MP) alone. The primary end point of the trial was time-to-disease progression, with secondary endpoints including overall survival, progression-free survival, response rates, and safety.

About VELCADE

VELCADE is co-developed by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, a unit of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., and approved worldwide. Millennium is responsible for commercialization of VELCADE in the U.S., Janssen-Cilag is responsible for commercialization in Europe and the rest of the world. Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K. is responsible for commercialization in Japan. VELCADE is currently approved in more than 92 countries worldwide.

Important Safety Information

In the U.S., VELCADE is indicated for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. VELCADE also is indicated for the treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphoma who have received at least one prior therapy. VELCADE is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to bortezomib, boron or mannitol. VELCADE should be administered under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of antineoplastic therapy.

Risks associated with VELCADE therapy include new or worsening peripheral neuropathy, hypotension throughout therapy, cardiac and pulmonary disorders, reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome, gastrointestinal adverse events, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, tumor lysis syndrome and hepatic events. Women of childbearing potential should avoid becoming pregnant while being treated with VELCADE. Nursing mothers are advised not to breastfeed while receiving VELCADE. Cases of severe sensory and motor peripheral neuropathy have been reported. The long-term outcome of peripheral neuropathy has not been studied in mantle cell lymphoma. Acute development or exacerbation of congestive heart failure, and new onset of decreased left ventricular ejection fraction has been reported, including reports in patients with no risk factors for decreased left ventricular ejection fraction. There have been reports of acute diffuse infiltrative pulmonary disease of unknown etiology such as pneumonitis, interstitial pneumonia, lung infiltration and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in patients receiving VELCADE. Some of these events have been fatal. There have been reports of Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS) in patients receiving VELCADE. RPLS is a rare, reversible, neurological disorder which can present with seizure, hypertension, headache, lethargy, confusion, blindness, and other visual and neurological disturbances. VELCADE is associated with thrombocytopenia and neutropenia. There have been reports of gastrointestinal and intracerebral hemorrhage in association with VELCADE. Transfusions may be considered. Complete blood counts (CBC) should be frequently monitored during treatment with VELCADE. Cases of acute liver failure have been reported in patients receiving multiple concomitant medications and with serious underlying medical conditions. Patients who are concomitantly receiving VELCADE and drugs that are inhibitors or inducers of cytochrome P450 3A4 should be closely monitored for either toxicities or reduced efficacy. Patients on oral antidiabetic medication while receiving VELCADE should check blood sugar levels frequently.

Adverse Reaction Data

Safety data from Phase II and III studies of single-agent VELCADE 1.3 mg/m2/dose twice weekly for 2 weeks followed by a 10-day rest period in 1163 patients with previously treated multiple myeloma (N=1008, not including the Phase III, VELCADE plus DOXIL® [doxorubicin HCl liposome injection] study) and previously treated mantle cell lymphoma (N=155) were integrated and tabulated. In these studies, the safety profile of VELCADE was similar in patients with multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma.

In the integrated analysis, the most commonly reported adverse events were asthenic conditions (including fatigue, malaise and weakness) (64%), nausea (55%), diarrhea (52%), constipation (41%), peripheral neuropathy NEC (including peripheral sensory neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy aggravated) (39%), thrombocytopenia and appetite decreased (including anorexia) (each 36%), pyrexia (34%), vomiting (33%), anemia (29%), edema (23%), headache, paresthesia and dysesthesia and headache (each 22%), dyspnea (21%), cough and insomnia (each 20%), rash (18%), arthralgia (17%), neutropenia and dizziness (excluding vertigo) (each 17%), pain in limb and abdominal pain (each 15%), bone pain (14%), back pain and hypotension (each 13%), herpes zoster, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, myalgia and pneumonia (each 12%), muscle cramps (11%), and dehydration and anxiety (each 10%). Twenty percent (20%) of patients experienced at least 1 episode of ‰¥Grade 4 toxicity, most commonly thrombocytopenia (5%) and neutropenia (3%). A total of 50% of patients experienced serious adverse events (SAEs) during the studies. The most commonly reported SAEs included pneumonia (7%), pyrexia (6%), diarrhea (5%), vomiting (4%), and nausea, dehydration, dyspnea and thrombocytopenia (each 3%).

In the Phase 3 VELCADE + melphalan and prednisone study, the safety profile of VELCADE in combination with melphalan/prednisone is consistent with the known safety profiles of both VELCADE and melphalan/prednisone. The most commonly reported adverse events for VELCADE in combination with MP vs MP, respectively, were thrombocytopenia (52% vs 47%), neutropenia (49% vs 46%), nausea (48% vs 28%), peripheral neuropathy (47% vs 5%), diarrhea (46% vs 17%), anemia (43% vs 55%), constipation (37% vs 16%), neuralgia (36% vs 1%), leukopenia (33% vs 30%), vomiting (33% vs 16%), pyrexia (29% vs 19%), fatigue (29% vs 26%), lymphopenia (24% vs 17%), anorexia (23% vs 10%), asthenia (21% vs 18%), cough (21% vs 13%), insomnia (20% vs 13%), edema peripheral (20% vs 10%), rash (19% vs 7%), back pain (17% vs 18%), pneumonia (16% vs 11%), dizziness (16% vs 11%), dyspnea (15% vs 13%), headache (14% vs 10%), pain in extremity (14% vs 9%), abdominal pain (14% vs 7%), paresthesia (13% vs 4%), herpes zoster (13% vs 4%), bronchitis (13% vs 8%), hypokalemia (13% vs 7%), hypertension (13% vs 7%), abdominal pain upper (12% vs 9%), hypotension (12% vs 3%), dyspepsia (11% vs 7%), nasopharyngitis (11% vs 8%), bone pain (11% vs 10%), arthralgia (11% vs 15%) and pruritus (10% vs 5%).

For more information about VELCADE clinical trials, patients and physicians can contact the Millennium Medical Product Information Department at 1-866-VELCADE (1-866-835-2233).

Editors' Note: This press release is also available under the Media section of the Company's website at: www.millennium.com

1 VELCADE as Initial Standard Therapy in multiple myeloma: Assessment with melphalan and prednisone

Contact: Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company
Manisha Pai, 617-551-7877
Manisha.Pai@mpi.com
or
Lauren Musto, 617-551-7848
Lauren.Musto@mpi.com

 

Posted: April 2010

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