Eisai Co., Ltd. and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) today announced that the European Commission has approved the combination of LENVIMA, the orally available multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor discovered by Eisai, plus KEYTRUDA, the anti-PD-1 therapy from Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A., for the treatment of advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma in adults who have disease progression on or following prior treatment with a platinum containing therapy in any setting and who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation. This marks the first combination of tyrosine kinase inhibitor with immunotherapy approved in Europe for these patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma.
The approval is based on results from the pivotal Phase 3 Study 309/KEYNOTE-775 trial, in which LENVIMA plus KEYTRUDA demonstrated statistically significant improvements in overall survival (OS), reducing the risk of death by 38% (HR=0.62 [95% CI, 0.51-0.75]; p<0.0001), and progression-free survival (PFS), reducing the risk of disease progression or death by 44% (HR=0.56 [95% CI, 0.47-0.66]; p<0.0001), versus chemotherapy (investigator/s choice of doxorubicin or paclitaxel). The median OS was 18.3 months for LENVIMA plus KEYTRUDA versus 11.4 months for chemotherapy. The median PFS was 7.2 months for LENVIMA plus KEYTRUDA versus 3.8 months for chemotherapy. The objective response rate (ORR) was 32% (95% CI, 27-37) for patients treated with LENVIMA plus KEYTRUDA versus 15% (95% CI, 11-18) for patients treated with chemotherapy (p<0.0001). Patients treated with LENVIMA plus KEYTRUDA achieved a complete response (CR) rate of 7% and partial response (PR) rate of 25% versus a CR rate of 3% and a PR rate of 12% for patients treated with chemotherapy.
“This approval is welcome news for patients in Europe, and is based on the first Phase 3 study evaluating an immunotherapy and tyrosine kinase inhibitor combination that showed superior overall survival for patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer compared to chemotherapy,” said Dr. Gregory Lubiniecki, Vice President, Clinical Research, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. Research Laboratories. “Regardless of mismatch repair status, patients whose endometrial cancer progresses or returns after prior platinum-containing systemic therapies now have a combination treatment option in KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA that demonstrated a 38% reduction in risk of death compared to chemotherapy alone.”
“Until recently, women in Europe with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer have faced a difficult prognosis and had few treatment options,” said Corina Dutcus, M.D., Vice President, Clinical Research, Oncology Business Group at Eisai Inc. “The approval of LENVIMA plus KEYTRUDA in this setting reflects the progress that we have made in our collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. in developing solutions for those diagnosed with difficult-to-treat cancers. We thank the patients, families and healthcare providers who made this milestone possible.”
In the Study 309 trial, the most common adverse reactions of these patients (>/=20%) for LENVIMA plus KEYTRUDA* were hypertension (63%), diarrhoea (57%), hypothyroidism (56%), nausea (51%), decreased appetite (47%), vomiting (39%), fatigue (38%), decreased weight (35%), arthralgia (33%), proteinuria (29%), constipation (27%), headache (27%), urinary tract infection (27%), dysphonia (25%), abdominal pain (23%), asthenia (23%), palmar-plantar erythrodysaesthesia syndrome (23%), stomatitis (23%), anaemia (22%), and hypomagnesaemia (20%).
This approval allows marketing of LENVIMA plus KEYTRUDA in all 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Northern Ireland. LENVIMA plus KEYTRUDA is now approved by the European Commission for two different types of cancer: for advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma in adults who have disease progression on or following prior treatment with a platinum containing therapy in any setting and who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation and for the first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.
*According to the information listed in the SmPC (Summary of Product Characteristics)