WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Updated results from the HIMALAYA Phase III trial showed AstraZeneca’s IMFINZI® (durvalumab) plus IMJUDO® (tremelimumab-actl) demonstrated a sustained, clinically meaningful overall survival (OS) benefit at four years for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who had not received prior systemic therapy and were not eligible for localized treatment.
These results from HIMALAYA will be presented today at the 2023 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer in Barcelona, Spain (abstract #SO-15).
At four years of follow-up, these latest data show that a single priming dose of IMJUDO added to IMFINZI, called the STRIDE regimen (Single Tremelimumab Regular Interval Durvalumab), reduced the risk of death by 22% compared to sorafenib (based on a hazard ratio [HR] of 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67-0.92; 78% data maturity). An estimated 25.2% of patients treated with the STRIDE regimen were alive at four years versus 15.1% for those treated with sorafenib. An ad-hoc exploratory analysis showed that the treatment effects of the STRIDE regimen versus sorafenib were consistent across all clinically relevant subgroups of patients, as well as those surviving at least three years, regardless of the underlying disease cause (hepatitis B virus [HBV], hepatitis C virus [HCV] or nonviral) or other baseline demographics.
Bruno Sangro, MD, PhD, Director of the Liver Unit and Professor of Internal Medicine at Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain and a lead investigator in the trial, said: “Historically, only seven percent of patients with advanced liver cancer have survived five years, making the HIMALAYA long-term survival data especially meaningful. One in four patients treated with the STRIDE regimen were still alive at four years, reinforcing this novel regimen as a standard of care in this setting.”
Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “The remarkable four-year survival benefit shown with IMFINZI and IMJUDO in this advanced liver cancer setting supports the use of the STRIDE regimen to treat a broad, eligible patient population globally. These latest results from HIMALAYA are part of a series of clinical trials aiming to deliver innovative treatments for patients at different stages of liver cancer.”
Summary of updated results: HIMALAYA
Number of patients with events (%)
Median OS, in months (95% CI)
Median duration of follow-up in censored patients, in months (95% CI)
Hazard ratio (95% CI)
OS rate at 36 months
OS rate at 48 months
The safety profile of the STRIDE regimen was consistent with the known profiles of each medicine, and no new safety signals were observed with longer follow-up. Serious treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs), defined as Grade 3 or 4 and including death, were experienced by 17.5% of patients treated with the STRIDE regimen versus 9.6% of patients treated with sorafenib, with no new events occurring after the primary analysis for STRIDE (17.5%).
IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO is approved for the treatment of adults with advanced or unresectable HCC in the US, EU (in the 1st-line setting), Japan and several other countries. IMFINZI monotherapy is also approved in Japan in this setting.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
There are no contraindications for IMFINZI® (durvalumab) or IMJUDO® (tremelimumab-actl).
Severe and Fatal Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
Important immune-mediated adverse reactions listed under Warnings and Precautions may not include all possible severe and fatal immune-mediated reactions. Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue. Immune-mediated adverse reactions can occur at any time after starting treatment or after discontinuation. Monitor patients closely for symptoms and signs that may be clinical manifestations of underlying immune-mediated adverse reactions. Evaluate clinical chemistries including liver enzymes, creatinine, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level, and thyroid function at baseline and before each dose. In cases of suspected immune-mediated adverse reactions, initiate appropriate workup to exclude alternative etiologies, including infection. Institute medical management promptly, including specialty consultation as appropriate. Withhold or permanently discontinue IMFINZI and IMJUDO depending on severity. See USPI Dosing and Administration for specific details. In general, if combination of IMFINZI and IMJUDO requires interruption or discontinuation, administer systemic corticosteroid therapy (1 mg to 2 mg/kg/day prednisone or equivalent) until improvement to Grade 1 or less. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Consider administration of other systemic immunosuppressants in patients whose immune-mediated adverse reactions are not controlled with corticosteroid therapy.
IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis, which may be fatal. Immune‑mediated pneumonitis occurred in 1.3% (5/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, including fatal (0.3%) and Grade 3 (0.2%) adverse reactions.
IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO can cause immune-mediated colitis that is frequently associated with diarrhea. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection/reactivation has been reported in patients with corticosteroid-refractory immune-mediated colitis. In cases of corticosteroid-refractory colitis, consider repeating infectious workup to exclude alternative etiologies. Immune‑mediated colitis or diarrhea occurred in 6% (23/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, including Grade 3 (3.6%) adverse reactions. Intestinal perforation has been observed in other studies of IMFINZI and IMJUDO.
IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO can cause immune-mediated hepatitis, which may be fatal. Immune‑mediated hepatitis occurred in 7.5% (29/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, including fatal (0.8%), Grade 4 (0.3%) and Grade 3 (4.1%) adverse reactions.
- Adrenal Insufficiency: IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO can cause primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency. For Grade 2 or higher adrenal insufficiency, initiate symptomatic treatment, including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Immune-mediated adrenal insufficiency occurred in 1.5% (6/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, including Grade 3 (0.3%) adverse reactions.
- Hypophysitis: IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO can cause immune-mediated hypophysitis. Hypophysitis can present with acute symptoms associated with mass effect such as headache, photophobia, or visual field cuts. Hypophysitis can cause hypopituitarism. Initiate symptomatic treatment including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Immune-mediated hypophysitis/hypopituitarism occurred in 1% (4/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO.
Thyroid Disorders (Thyroiditis, Hyperthyroidism, and Hypothyroidism): IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO can cause immune-mediated thyroid disorders. Thyroiditis can present with or without endocrinopathy. Hypothyroidism can follow hyperthyroidism. Initiate hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism or institute medical management of hyperthyroidism as clinically indicated.
- Immune-mediated thyroiditis occurred in 1.5% (6/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO.
- Immune-mediated hyperthyroidism occurred in 4.6% (18/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, including Grade 3 (0.3%) adverse reactions.
- Immune-mediated hypothyroidism occurred in 11% (42/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO.
- Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, which can present with diabetic ketoacidosis: Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of diabetes. Initiate treatment with insulin as clinically indicated. Two patients 0.5% (2/388) had events of hyperglycemia requiring insulin therapy that had not resolved at last follow-up.
Immune-Mediated Nephritis with Renal Dysfunction
IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Immune-mediated nephritis occurred in 1% (4/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, including Grade 3 (0.5%) adverse reactions.
Immune-Mediated Dermatology Reactions
IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO can cause immune-mediated rash or dermatitis. Exfoliative dermatitis, including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), has occurred with PD-1/L-1 and CTLA-4 blocking antibodies. Topical emollients and/or topical corticosteroids may be adequate to treat mild to moderate non-exfoliative rashes. Immune-mediated rash or dermatitis occurred in 4.9% (19/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, including Grade 4 (0.3%) and Grade 3 (1.5%) adverse reactions.
IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO can cause immune-mediated pancreatitis. Immune-mediated pancreatitis occurred in 2.3% (9/388) of patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, including Grade 4 (0.3%) and Grade 3 (1.5%) adverse reactions.
Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
The following clinically significant, immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred at an incidence of less than 1% each in patients who received IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO or were reported with the use of other immune-checkpoint inhibitors.
- Cardiac/vascular: Myocarditis, pericarditis, vasculitis.
- Nervous system: Meningitis, encephalitis, myelitis and demyelination, myasthenic syndrome/myasthenia gravis (including exacerbation), Guillain-Barré syndrome, nerve paresis, autoimmune neuropathy.
- Ocular: Uveitis, iritis, and other ocular inflammatory toxicities can occur. Some cases can be associated with retinal detachment. Various grades of visual impairment to include blindness can occur. If uveitis occurs in combination with other immune-mediated adverse reactions, consider a Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome, as this may require treatment with systemic steroids to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.
- Gastrointestinal: Gastritis, duodenitis.
- Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: Myositis/polymyositis, rhabdomyolysis and associated sequelae including renal failure, arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatic.
- Endocrine: Hypoparathyroidism.
- Other (hematologic/immune): Hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (Kikuchi lymphadenitis), sarcoidosis, immune thrombocytopenia, solid organ transplant rejection.
IMFINZI and IMJUDO can cause severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions. Monitor for signs and symptoms of infusion-related reactions. Interrupt, slow the rate of, or permanently discontinue IMFINZI and IMJUDO based on the severity. See USPI Dosing and Administration for specific details. For Grade 1 or 2 infusion-related reactions, consider using pre-medications with subsequent doses. Infusion-related reactions occurred in 10 (2.6%) patients receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO.
Complications of Allogeneic HSCT after IMFINZI
Fatal and other serious complications can occur in patients who receive allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) before or after being treated with a PD-1/L-1 blocking antibody. Transplant-related complications include hyperacute graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after reduced intensity conditioning, and steroid-requiring febrile syndrome (without an identified infectious cause). These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between PD-1/L-1 blockade and allogeneic HSCT. Follow patients closely for evidence of transplant-related complications and intervene promptly. Consider the benefit versus risks of treatment with a PD-1/L-1 blocking antibody prior to or after an allogeneic HSCT.
Based on its mechanism of action and data from animal studies, both IMFINZI and IMJUDO can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. In females of reproductive potential, verify pregnancy status prior to initiating IMFINZI and IMJUDO and advise them to use effective contraception during treatment with IMFINZI and IMJUDO and for 3 months after the last dose of IMFINZI and IMJUDO.
There is no information regarding the presence of either IMFINZI or IMJUDO in human milk; however, because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants from IMFINZI and IMJUDO, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose.
- In patients with unresectable HCC in the HIMALAYA study receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, the most common adverse reactions (occurring in ≥20% of patients) were rash, diarrhea, fatigue, pruritus, musculoskeletal pain, and abdominal pain.
- In patients with unresectable HCC in the HIMALAYA study receiving IMFINZI and IMJUDO, serious adverse reactions occurred in 41% of patients. Serious adverse reactions in >1% of patients included hemorrhage (6%), diarrhea (4%), sepsis (2.1%), pneumonia (2.1%), rash (1.5%), vomiting (1.3%), acute kidney injury (1.3%), and anemia (1.3%). Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 8% of patients who received IMJUDO in combination with durvalumab, including death (1%), hemorrhage intracranial (0.5%), cardiac arrest (0.5%), pneumonitis (0.5%), hepatic failure (0.5%), and immune-mediated hepatitis (0.5%). Permanent discontinuation of treatment regimen due to an adverse reaction occurred in 14% of patients.
The safety and effectiveness of IMFINZI and IMJUDO have not been established in pediatric patients.
IMFINZI in combination with IMJUDO is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC).
Liver cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death and the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide.1,2 About 75% of all primary liver cancers in adults are HCC.3 Advanced-stage HCC prognosis is poor, with a 5-year survival rate of only 7%.4 Between 80-90% of all patients with HCC also have cirrhosis.3 Chronic liver diseases such as cirrhosis are associated with inflammation that over time can lead to the development of HCC.5
More than half of patients are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease, often when symptoms first appear.6 A critical unmet need exists for patients with HCC who face limited treatment options. The unique immune environment of liver cancer provides clear rationale for investigating medications that harness the power of the immune system to treat HCC.6
HIMALAYA is a randomized, open-label, multicenter, global Phase III trial of IMFINZI monotherapy and a regimen comprising a single priming dose of IMJUDO 300mg added to IMFINZI 1500mg followed by IMFINZI every four weeks (STRIDE regimen) versus sorafenib, a standard-of-care multi-kinase inhibitor.
The trial included a total of 1,324 randomized patients with unresectable, advanced HCC who had not been treated with prior systemic therapy and were not eligible for locoregional therapy (treatment localized to the liver and surrounding tissue).
The trial was conducted in 181 centers across 16 countries, including in the US, Canada, Europe, South America and Asia. The primary endpoint was OS for the combination versus sorafenib and key secondary endpoints included OS for IMFINZI versus sorafenib, objective response rate and PFS for the combination and for IMFINZI alone.
IMFINZI® (durvalumab) is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-L1 protein and blocks the interaction of PD-L1 with the PD-1 and CD80 proteins, countering the tumor's immune-evading tactics and releasing the inhibition of immune responses.
IMFINZI is approved in combination with chemotherapy (gemcitabine plus cisplatin) in locally advanced or metastatic biliary tract cancer (BTC) and in combination with IMJUDO® (tremelimumab-actl) in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the US, EU, Japan and several other countries based on the TOPAZ-1 and HIMALAYA Phase III trials, respectively.
In addition to its indications in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, IMFINZI is the only approved immunotherapy and the global standard of care in the curative-intent setting of unresectable, Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients whose disease has not progressed after chemoradiation therapy based on the PACIFIC Phase III trial.
IMFINZI is also approved in the US, EU, Japan, China and many other countries around the world for the treatment of extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) based on the CASPIAN Phase III trial. Additionally, IMFINZI is approved in combination with a short course of IMJUDO and chemotherapy for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC in the US, EU and Japan based on the POSEIDON Phase III trial. IMFINZI is approved in previously treated patients with advanced bladder cancer in a small number of countries.
Since the first approval in May 2017, more than 200,000 patients have been treated with IMFINZI.
As part of a broad development program, IMFINZI is being tested as a single treatment and in combinations with other anti-cancer treatments for patients with SCLC, NSCLC, bladder cancer, several GI cancers, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and other solid tumors. In 2023, AstraZeneca announced positive results for Phase III trials including combinations with IMFINZI in ovarian (DUO-O) and endometrial (DUO-E) cancers, as well as in resectable NSCLC (AEGEAN).
In GI cancers specifically, AstraZeneca has several ongoing registrational trials investigating IMFINZI across multiple liver cancer settings (EMERALD-1, EMERALD-2 and EMERALD-3), in resectable gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancers (MATTERHORN) and in locally advanced esophageal cancer (KUNLUN). In June 2023, IMFINZI added to standard-of-care neoadjuvant chemotherapy met a key secondary endpoint of pathologic complete response in the MATTERHORN Phase III trial.
IMJUDO® (tremelimumab-actl) is a human monoclonal antibody that targets the activity of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4). IMJUDO blocks the activity of CTLA-4, contributing to T-cell activation, priming the immune response to cancer and fostering cancer cell death.
In addition to its approved indications in liver and lung cancers, IMJUDO is being tested in combination with IMFINZI across multiple tumor types including locoregional HCC (EMERALD-3), SCLC (ADRIATIC) and bladder cancer (VOLGA and NILE).
AstraZeneca in GI cancers
AstraZeneca has a broad development program for the treatment of GI cancers across several medicines and a variety of tumor types and stages of disease. In 2020, GI cancers collectively represented approximately 5.1 million new cancer cases leading to approximately 3.6 million deaths.7
Within this program, the Company is committed to improving outcomes in gastric, liver, biliary tract, esophageal, pancreatic and colorectal cancers.
In addition to its indications in BTC and HCC, IMFINZI is being assessed in combinations, including with IMJUDO, in liver, esophageal and gastric cancers in an extensive development program spanning early to late-stage disease across settings.
Fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki, a HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate, is approved in the US and several other countries for HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer and is being assessed in colorectal cancer. Fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki is jointly developed and commercialized by AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo.
Olaparib, a first-in-class PARP inhibitor, is approved in the US and several other countries for the treatment of BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer. Olaparib is developed and commercialized by AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., known as MSD outside the US and Canada.
AstraZeneca also recently entered into a global exclusive license agreement with KYM Biosciences Inc. for CMG901. CMG901 is a potential first-in-class antibody drug conjugate targeting Claudin 18.2, a promising therapeutic target in gastric cancer, currently in Phase I development.
AstraZeneca in immuno-oncology (IO)
AstraZeneca is a pioneer in introducing the concept of immunotherapy into dedicated clinical areas of high unmet medical need. The Company has a comprehensive and diverse IO portfolio and pipeline anchored in immunotherapies designed to overcome evasion of the anti-tumor immune response and stimulate the body’s immune system to attack tumors.
AstraZeneca aims to reimagine cancer care and help transform outcomes for patients with IMFINZI as a single treatment and in combination with IMJUDO as well as other novel immunotherapies and modalities. The Company is also exploring next-generation immunotherapies like bispecific antibodies and therapeutics that harness different aspects of immunity to target cancer.
AstraZeneca is boldly pursuing an innovative clinical strategy to bring IO-based therapies that deliver long-term survival to new settings across a wide range of cancer types. With an extensive clinical program, the Company also champions the use of IO treatment in earlier disease stages, where there is the greatest potential for cure.
AstraZeneca in oncology
AstraZeneca is leading a revolution in oncology with the ambition to provide cures for cancer in every form, following the science to understand cancer and all its complexities to discover, develop and deliver life-changing medicines to patients.
The Company's focus is on some of the most challenging cancers. It is through persistent innovation that AstraZeneca has built one of the most diverse portfolios and pipelines in the industry, with the potential to catalyze changes in the practice of medicine and transform the patient experience.
AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer care and, one day, eliminate cancer as a cause of death.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.
- ASCO. Liver Cancer: View All Pages. Available at: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/liver-cancer/view-all. Accessed June 2023.
- WHO. Liver Cancer Fact Sheet. Available at: https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/cancers/11-Liver-fact-sheet.pdf. Accessed June 2023.
- ASCO. Liver Cancer: View All Pages. Available at: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/liver-cancer/view-all. Accessed June 2023.
- Sayiner M, et al. Disease Burden of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Global Perspective. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 2019; 64: 910-917.
- Tarao K, et al. Real impact of liver cirrhosis on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in various liver diseases—meta‐analytic assessment. Cancer Med. 2019;8(3):1054-1065.
- Colagrande S, et al. Challenges of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. World J Gastroenterol. 2016;22(34):7645-7659.
- WHO. World Cancer Fact Sheet. Available at: https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/900-world-fact-sheets.pdf. Accessed June 2023.
US-77474 Last Updated 06/23