VIENNA & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) today announced long-term follow up from its pivotal Phase 2 trial of Iclusig® (ponatinib), its approved BCR-ABL inhibitor, in heavily pretreated patients with resistant or intolerant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). The study now shows that with a median follow-up of approximately 3.5 years for chronic phase CML (CP-CML) patients and a median follow-up of approximately 2.9 years in all patients in the trial, Iclusig continues to demonstrate anti-leukemic activity in patients with limited treatment options. Responses have been maintained long-term in CP-CML patients. Eighty-three percent (83%) of CP-CML patients who achieved a major cytogenetic response (MCyR) are estimated to remain in MCyR at three years.
Additionally, 95 percent of CP-CML patients who underwent ponatinib dose reductions maintained their responses (MCyR). Benefit-risk evaluations should guide the decision to initiate and maintain Iclusig therapy, particularly in patients who may be at increased risk for arterial occlusive events (AOE).
“These continued responses in the PACE study, with a minimum follow-up of 3.3 years, in such a heavily pretreated patient population are very encouraging. Eighty-three percent of CP-CML patients who achieved the primary endpoint of major cytogenetic response remain in MCyR at three years,” stated Jorge E. Cortes, M.D., Professor and Deputy Chair, Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Careful assessment of the benefit and risk of initiating ponatinib therapy, particularly in patients who may be at increased risk for arterial occlusive events, can help identify patients with refractory Ph+ leukemias who can benefit most from this treatment.”
The data were featured today at the 20th Conference of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in Vienna, Austria.
PACE Trial Update
The efficacy and safety of ponatinib in CML and Ph+ ALL patients resistant or intolerant to dasatinib or nilotinib, or with the T315I mutation, were evaluated in the pivotal Phase 2 PACE trial. A total of 449 patients were treated with ponatinib at a starting dose of 45 mg/day. Ninety-three percent of patients had previously received two or more approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), and 55 percent had previously received three or more approved TKIs.
Updated data on CP-CML patients (n=270) from the ongoing trial indicate that with a median follow-up of 42.3 months (data as of February 2, 2015), 114 patients (42%) continue to receive ponatinib. Additional data in CP-CML patients include:
59% of CP-CML patients achieved MCyR (primary endpoint) at any time.
- 83% of patients who achieved MCyR are estimated to remain in MCyR at 3 years.
- 39% of patients achieved a major molecular response (MMR) or better.
- By Kaplan-Meier analysis, progression-free survival at 3 years is estimated to be 60%.
- Overall survival at 3 years is estimated to be 81%.
- 23% of CP-CML patients experienced an AOE designated a serious adverse event (SAE), and 28 percent of CP-CML patients experienced any AOE. The median time to onset for AOEs in CP-CML patients was 14.1 (0.3–44.0) months.
- 4% and 5% of CP-CML patients, respectively experienced a venous thromboembolic SAE or AE.
- The most common all-grade treatment-emergent adverse events occurring in ≥ 40% of CP-CML patients were abdominal pain (46%), rash (46%), thrombocytopenia (45%), headache (43%), constipation (41%), and dry skin (41%); the discontinuation rate due to adverse events was 18% in CP-CML.
“These data show that the majority of CP-CML patients in the PACE trial retained their anti-leukemic responses, even when lowering the daily dose of Iclusig,” stated Frank G. Haluska, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of clinical research and development and chief medical officer at ARIAD. “The safety and efficacy of Iclusig at starting doses lower than 45 mg will be studied in the randomized OPTIC (Optimizing Ponatinib Treatment In CML) trial set to begin shortly.”
Efficacy Update Following Prospective Dose-Reduction Recommendations
(Data from October 10, 2013 to February 2, 2015)
On October 10, 2013, dose-reduction recommendations were provided by ARIAD to investigators for patients remaining on the PACE trial. The following dose reductions were recommended, unless the benefit-risk analysis warranted treatment with a higher dose:
- CP-CML patients who already achieved a MCyR should have their ponatinib dose reduced to 15 mg/day,
- CP-CML patients who had not already achieved MCyR should have their dose reduced to 30 mg/day, and
- Advanced-phase patients should have their dose reduced to 30 mg/day.
As of February 2015, with 1.3 years (16 months) of follow-up after these recommendations, the rate of maintenance of response in CP-CML was 95% -- whether or not patients underwent prospective dose reductions.
- Of the 64 patients who were in MCyR as of October 10, 2013 and had a prospective dose reduction, 61 patients (95%) maintained their response at 1.3 years following prospective dose reduction.
- Of the 47 patients who were in MMR as of October 10, 2013 and had a prospective dose reduction, 44 patients (94%) maintained their response at 1.3 years following prospective dose reduction.
- 42 patients in MCyR did not undergo any dose reductions (the majority of which were already at a reduced dose of 30 mg or 15 mg as of October 10, 2013); of these, 39 patients (93%) maintained MCyR after 1.3 more years of ponatinib treatment.
Safety Update Following Prospective Dose-Reduction Recommendations (Data from October 10, 2013 to February 2, 2015)
- Of the patients who underwent prospective dose reduction, 5 of 71 patients (7%) without prior AOEs had a new AOE during the 1.3 year interval following prospective dose reduction.
- Of the patients who did not undergo prospective dose reduction, 9 of 67 patients (13%) without prior AOE had a new AOE in the same time interval.
About Iclusig® (ponatinib) tablets
Iclusig is approved in the U.S., EU, Australia, Israel, Canada and Switzerland.
In the U.S., Iclusig is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the:
- Treatment of adult patients with T315I-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase) or T315I-positive Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL).
- Treatment of adult patients with chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia or Ph+ ALL for whom no other tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy is indicated.
These indications are based upon response rate. There are no trials verifying an improvement in disease-related symptoms or increased survival with Iclusig.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE BOXED WARNING
WARNING: VASCULAR OCCLUSION, HEART FAILURE, and HEPATOTOXICITY
See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning
- Vascular Occlusion: Arterial and venous thrombosis and occlusions have occurred in at least 27% of Iclusig treated patients, including fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, stenosis of large arterial vessels of the brain, severe peripheral vascular disease, and the need for urgent revascularization procedures. Patients with and without cardiovascular risk factors, including patients less than 50 years old, experienced these events. Monitor for evidence of thromboembolism and vascular occlusion. Interrupt or stop Iclusig immediately for vascular occlusion. A benefit risk consideration should guide a decision to restart Iclusig therapy.
- Heart Failure, including fatalities, occurred in 8% of Iclusig-treated patients. Monitor cardiac function. Interrupt or stop Iclusig for new or worsening heart failure.
- Hepatotoxicity, liver failure and death have occurred in Iclusig-treated patients. Monitor hepatic function. Interrupt Iclusig if hepatotoxicity is suspected.
Vascular Occlusion: Arterial and venous thrombosis and occlusions, including fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, stenosis of large arterial vessels of the brain, severe peripheral vascular disease, and the need for urgent revascularization procedures have occurred in at least 27% of Iclusig-treated patients from the phase 1 and phase 2 trials. Iclusig can also cause recurrent or multi-site vascular occlusion. Overall, 20% of Iclusig-treated patients experienced an arterial occlusion and thrombosis event of any grade. Fatal and life-threatening vascular occlusion has occurred within 2 weeks of starting Iclusig treatment and in patients treated with average daily dose intensities as low as 15 mg per day. The median time to onset of the first vascular occlusion event was 5 months. Patients with and without cardiovascular risk factors have experienced vascular occlusion although these events were more frequent with increasing age and in patients with prior history of ischemia, hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia. Interrupt or stop Iclusig immediately in patients who develop vascular occlusion events.
Heart Failure: Fatal and serious heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction occurred in 5% of Iclusig-treated patients (22/449). Eight percent of patients (35/449) experienced any grade of heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms consistent with heart failure and treat as clinically indicated, including interruption of Iclusig. Consider discontinuation of Iclusig in patients who develop serious heart failure.
Hepatotoxicity: Iclusig can cause hepatotoxicity, including liver failure and death. Fulminant hepatic failure leading to death occurred in an Iclusig-treated patient within one week of starting Iclusig. Two additional fatal cases of acute liver failure also occurred. The fatal cases occurred in patients with blast phase CML (BP-CML) or Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Severe hepatotoxicity occurred in all disease cohorts. Iclusig treatment may result in elevation in ALT, AST, or both. Monitor liver function tests at baseline, then at least monthly or as clinically indicated. Interrupt, reduce or discontinue Iclusig as clinically indicated.
Hypertension: Treatment-emergent hypertension (defined as systolic BP≥140 mm Hg or diastolic BP≥90 mm Hg on at least one occasion) occurred in 67% of patients (300/449). Eight patients treated with Iclusig (2%) experienced treatment-emergent symptomatic hypertension as a serious adverse reaction, including one patient (<1%) with hypertensive crisis. Patients may require urgent clinical intervention for hypertension associated with confusion, headache, chest pain, or shortness of breath. In 131 patients with Stage 1 hypertension at baseline, 61% (80/131) developed Stage 2 hypertension. Monitor and manage blood pressure elevations during Iclusig use and treat hypertension to normalize blood pressure. Interrupt, dose reduce, or stop Iclusig if hypertension is not medically controlled.
Pancreatitis: Clinical pancreatitis occurred in 6% (28/449) of patients (5% Grade 3) treated with Iclusig. Pancreatitis resulted in discontinuation or treatment interruption in 6% of patients (25/449). The incidence of treatment-emergent lipase elevation was 41%. Check serum lipase every 2 weeks for the first 2 months and then monthly thereafter or as clinically indicated. Consider additional serum lipase monitoring in patients with a history of pancreatitis or alcohol abuse. Dose interruption or reduction may be required. In cases where lipase elevations are accompanied by abdominal symptoms, interrupt treatment with Iclusig and evaluate patients for pancreatitis. Do not consider restarting Iclusig until patients have complete resolution of symptoms and lipase levels are less than 1.5 x ULN.
Neuropathy: Peripheral and cranial neuropathy have occurred in Iclusig-treated patients. Overall, 13% (59/449) of Iclusig-treated patients experienced a peripheral neuropathy event of any grade (2%, grade 3/4). In clinical trials, the most common peripheral neuropathies reported were peripheral neuropathy (4%, 18/449), paresthesia (4%, 17/449), hypoesthesia (2%, 11/449), and hyperesthesia (1%, 5/449). Cranial neuropathy developed in 1% (6/449) of Iclusig-treated patients (<1% grade 3/4). Of the patients who developed neuropathy, 31% (20/65) developed neuropathy during the first month of treatment. Monitor patients for symptoms of neuropathy, such as hypoesthesia, hyperesthesia, paresthesia, discomfort, a burning sensation, neuropathic pain or weakness. Consider interrupting Iclusig and evaluate if neuropathy is suspected.
Ocular Toxicity: Serious ocular toxicities leading to blindness or blurred vision have occurred in Iclusig-treated patients. Retinal toxicities including macular edema, retinal vein occlusion, and retinal hemorrhage occurred in 3% of Iclusig-treated patients. Conjunctival or corneal irritation, dry eye, or eye pain occurred in 13% of patients. Visual blurring occurred in 6% of the patients. Other ocular toxicities include cataracts, glaucoma, iritis, iridocyclitis, and ulcerative keratitis. Conduct comprehensive eye exams at baseline and periodically during treatment.
Hemorrhage: Serious bleeding events, including fatalities, occurred in 5% (22/449) of patients treated with Iclusig. Hemorrhagic events occurred in 24% of patients. The incidence of serious bleeding events was higher in patients with accelerated phase CML (AP-CML), BP-CML, and Ph+ ALL. Most hemorrhagic events, but not all occurred in patients with grade 4 thrombocytopenia. Interrupt Iclusig for serious or severe hemorrhage and evaluate.
Fluid Retention: Serious fluid retention events occurred in 3% (13/449) of patients treated with Iclusig. One instance of brain edema was fatal. In total, fluid retention occurred in 23% of the patients. The most common fluid retention events were peripheral edema (16%), pleural effusion (7%), and pericardial effusion (3%). Monitor patients for fluid retention and manage patients as clinically indicated. Interrupt, reduce, or discontinue Iclusig as clinically indicated.
Cardiac Arrhythmias: Symptomatic bradyarrhythmias that led to a requirement for pacemaker implantation occurred in 1% (3/449) of Iclusig-treated patients. Advise patients to report signs and symptoms suggestive of slow heart rate (fainting, dizziness, or chest pain). Supraventricular tachyarrhythmias occurred in 5% (25/449) of Iclusig-treated patients. Atrial fibrillation was the most common supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and occurred in 20 patients. For 13 patients, the event led to hospitalization. Advise patients to report signs and symptoms of rapid heart rate (palpitations, dizziness). Interrupt Iclusig and evaluate.
Myelosuppression: Severe (grade 3 or 4) myelosuppression occurred in 48% (215/449) of patients treated with Iclusig. The incidence of these events was greater in patients with AP-CML, BP-CML and Ph+ ALL than in patients with CP-CML. Obtain complete blood counts every 2 weeks for the first 3 months and then monthly or as clinically indicated, and adjust the dose as recommended.
Tumor Lysis Syndrome: Two patients (<1%) with advanced disease (AP-CML, BP-CML, or Ph+ ALL) treated with Iclusig developed serious tumor lysis syndrome. Hyperuricemia occurred in 7% (30/449) of patients overall; the majority had CP-CML (19 patients). Due to the potential for tumor lysis syndrome in patients with advanced disease, ensure adequate hydration and treat high uric acid levels prior to initiating therapy with Iclusig.
Compromised Wound Healing and Gastrointestinal Perforation: Since Iclusig may compromise wound healing, interrupt Iclusig for at least 1 week prior to major surgery. Serious gastrointestinal perforation (fistula) occurred in one patient 38 days post-cholecystectomy.
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Iclusig can cause fetal harm. If Iclusig is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking Iclusig, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Advise women to avoid pregnancy while taking Iclusig.
Most common non-hematologic adverse reactions: (≥20%) were hypertension, rash, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dry skin, constipation, arthralgia, nausea, and pyrexia. Hematologic adverse reactions included thrombocytopenia, anemia, neutropenia, lymphopenia, and leukopenia.
Please see the full U.S. Prescribing Information for Iclusig, including the Boxed Warning, for additional important safety information.
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Lausanne, Switzerland, is an integrated global oncology company focused on transforming the lives of cancer patients with breakthrough medicines. ARIAD is working on new medicines to advance the treatment of various forms of chronic and acute leukemia, lung cancer and other difficult-to-treat cancers. ARIAD utilizes computational and structural approaches to design small-molecule drugs that overcome resistance to existing cancer medicines. For additional information, visit http://www.ariad.com or follow ARIAD on Twitter (@ARIADPharm).
This press release contains forward-looking statements, each of which are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Any statements contained herein which do not describe historical facts, including, but not limited to, statements related to: updated clinical data for Iclusig; the therapeutic potential of Iclusig and the expected timing for starting to enroll patients in our OPTIC dose-ranging study, are forward-looking statements that are based on management's expectations and are subject to certain factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, outcome of events, timing and performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These factors, risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the costs associated with our research, development, manufacturing and other activities; the conduct, timing and results of additional clinical studies of Iclusig and our product candidates; the adequacy of our capital resources and the availability of additional funding; safety issues related to Iclusig and those additional factors detailed in our public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Except as otherwise noted, these forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of these statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after this press release. We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
Iclusig® is a registered trademark of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.