- Data from two studies continue to show the long-term efficacy and safety of fixed-duration venetoclax combination regimens across different lines of therapy in CLL
- Six-year median follow-up from the Phase 3 CLL14 study shows continued PFS after treatment with venetoclax plus obinutuzumab compared to treatment with chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab in previously untreated patients with CLL and co-existing conditions
- Final seven-year follow-up results of the Phase 3 MURANO trial demonstrate sustained PFS and overall survival (OS) with venetoclax and rituximab compared to bendamustine and rituximab in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) CLL
NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., June 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) today announced new findings demonstrating sustained long-term safety and efficacy of VENCLYXTO®/ VENCLEXTA® (venetoclax)-based combination therapies in patients with previously untreated CLL with co-existing conditions, as well as R/R CLL. The results are being presented during oral sessions at the European Hematology Association (EHA) Annual Congress in Frankfurt, Germany.
"Results from the CLL14 and MURANO studies demonstrate the long-term benefits of fixed-duration venetoclax combinations for patients living with CLL," said Mariana Cota Stirner, M.D., Ph.D., vice president, hematology, AbbVie. "These results underscore our commitment to transform how blood cancers are treated today and show that venetoclax can give patients lasting results with time off treatment."
CLL14 Long-Term Analysis
New six-year follow-up results from the Phase 3 CLL14 study showcase updated outcomes in previously untreated patients with CLL and co-existing conditions. Patients treated with fixed-duration venetoclax plus obinutuzumab continued to experience improved PFS (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.31-0.52; Hazard Ratio (HR) 0.40) and higher rates of undetectable minimal residual disease (uMRD) when treated with fixed-duration venetoclax plus obinutuzumab compared to those who received chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab (53.1% vs 21.7%, respectively).
The data also showed significantly improved rates of time to next treatment (TTNT) with venetoclax plus obinutuzumab at 65.2 percent (95% CI 0.33-0.58; HR 0.44) compared to chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab at 37.1 percent.1 The observed differences in PFS and TTNT benefits between venetoclax-based treatment and chemoimmunotherapy were maintained across all risk groups, including patients with high-risk molecular features of CLL.
No new safety signals were observed in this six-year analysis. The most frequently occurring Grade 3 (≥2%) adverse events (AEs) in patients receiving the venetoclax-based combination were neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, infusion-related reaction (during treatment), anemia, febrile neutropenia, pneumonia and leukopenia.1
"The latest findings show that patients can experience long-term disease control, five years after stopping treatment," said Othman Al-Sawaf, M.D., investigator in the CLL14 study, hematologist-oncologist at the University Hospital Cologne in Germany, and study physician at the German CLL Study Group. "These results confirm the treatment benefits of fixed-duration venetoclax and obinutuzumab for previously untreated CLL patients with co-existing conditions."
Results will also be featured at EHA's Press Briefing.
MURANO Long-Term Analysis
Final data from the Phase 3 MURANO trial showcase that R/R CLL patients treated with two-year fixed-duration venetoclax plus rituximab sustained significantly longer median PFS at 54.7 months (95% CI 52.3, 59.9), the study's primary endpoint, compared to 17.0 months (95% CI 15.5, 21.7; HR 0.23) with bendamustine plus rituximab after 7 years of median follow-up.2
Seven-year OS rates were 69.6 percent (95% CI 62.8, 76.5) for patients treated with the venetoclax-based combination versus 51 percent (95% CI 43.3, 58.7) for study participants who received bendamustine-based combination (HR 0.53).2 Furthermore, most of the patients treated with the full two-year venetoclax-based combination achieved uMRD (70.3%) at the end of their treatment course, and those patients were shown to have improved PFS and OS compared to patients with detectable MRD (29.7%).
The safety profile of the venetoclax-rituximab combination is consistent with the known safety profile of each individual therapy alone. No new serious safety issues were observed in the MURANO updated analysis. The most common adverse reactions (ARs) (≥20%) of any grade were neutropenia, diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infection, fatigue, and nausea.
"We are pleased to find that uMRD was associated with prolonged PFS in R/R CLL patients after seven years," said study investigator Prof. John Seymour, Director of the Integrated Haematology Department of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center and the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne. "Overall, these findings continue to support the use of treatment with venetoclax plus rituximab in this patient population."
VENCLYXTO/VENCLEXTA is being developed by AbbVie and Roche. It is jointly commercialized by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the U.S. and by AbbVie outside of the U.S.
About the CLL14 Phase 3 Trial1,3
The prospective, multicenter, open-label, randomized Phase 3 CLL14 trial, which was conducted in close collaboration with the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG), evaluated the efficacy and safety of a combined regimen of VENCLYXTO/VENCLEXTA and obinutuzumab (n=216) versus obinutuzumab and chlorambucil (n=216) in previously untreated patients with CLL and co-existing medical conditions (total Cumulative Illness Rating Scale [CIRS] score >6 or creatinine clearance <70 mL/min). The therapies were administered for a fixed-duration of 12 months for VENCLYXTO/VENCLEXTA in combination with six cycles of obinutuzumab. The trial enrolled 432 patients, all of whom were previously untreated, according to the International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (iwCLL) criteria. Efficacy was based on PFS, as assessed by an independent review committee.
Key secondary endpoints were rates of MRD in peripheral blood and bone marrow, overall and complete response rates, MRD in complete response in peripheral blood and bone marrow, and OS.
In patients with CLL receiving venetoclax combination therapy with obinutuzumab, the most frequently occurring ≥ Grade 3 AEs (≥2%) were neutropenia (51.9%), thrombocytopenia (14.2%), infusion-related reaction (9.0%), anemia (7.5%), febrile neutropenia (4.2%), pneumonia (3.8%) and leukopenia (2.4%). Serious ARs were most often due to febrile neutropenia and pneumonia (5% each). The most common ARs (≥20%) of any grade were neutropenia (60%), diarrhea (28%), and fatigue (21%). Fatal ARs that occurred in the absence of disease progression and with onset within 28 days of the last study treatment were reported in 2 percent (4/212) of patients, most often from infection.
About the MURANO Phase 3 Trial2,4
A total of 389 patients with R/R CLL who had received at least one prior therapy were enrolled in the international, multicenter, open-label, randomized Phase 3 MURANO trial. The trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of VENCLYXTO/VENCLEXTA and rituximab (n=194) compared with bendamustine and rituximab (n=195). The median age of patients in the trial was 65 years (range: 22 to 85).
The trial met its primary efficacy endpoint of investigator (INV)-assessed PFS. At the time of the primary analysis, median PFS with VENCLYXTO/VENCLEXTA and rituximab was not reached compared with 17.0 months for bendamustine and rituximab (HR: 0.17; 95% CI: 0.11- 0.25; p<0.0001). In the primary efficacy analysis, the median follow-up for PFS was 23.8 months (range: 0 to 37.4). Additional efficacy endpoints included independent review committee (IRC)-assessed PFS, INV- and IRC-assessed overall response rate (defined as complete response + complete response with incomplete marrow recovery + partial response + nodular partial response), OS and rates of MRD-negativity.
In patients with CLL receiving combination therapy with rituximab, the most frequent serious adverse reaction (AR; ≥5%) was pneumonia (9%). The most common ARs (≥20%) of any grade were neutropenia (65%), diarrhea (40%), upper respiratory tract infection (39%), fatigue (22%), and nausea (21%). Fatal ARs that occurred in the absence of disease progression and within 30 days of the last venetoclax treatment and/or 90 days of the last rituximab were reported in 2% (4/194) of patients.
About VENCLYXTO® (venetoclax)
VENCLYXTO® (venetoclax) is a first-in-class medicine that selectively binds and inhibits the B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) protein. In some blood cancers, BCL-2 prevents cancer cells from undergoing their natural death or self-destruction process, called apoptosis. VENCLYXTO targets the BCL-2 protein and works to help restore the process of apoptosis.
VENCLYXTO is being developed by AbbVie and Roche. It is jointly commercialized by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the U.S. and by AbbVie outside of the U.S. Together, the companies are committed to BCL-2 research and to studying venetoclax in clinical trials across several blood and other cancers. Venetoclax is approved in more than 80 countries, including the U.S.
Indication and Important VENCLYXTO (venetoclax) EU Safety Information5
Venclyxto in combination with obinutuzumab is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).
Venclyxto in combination with rituximab is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with CLL who have received at least one prior therapy.
Venclyxto monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of CLL:
- In the presence of 17p deletion or TP53 mutation in adult patients who are unsuitable for or have failed a B-cell receptor pathway inhibitor, or
- In the absence of 17p deletion or TP53 mutation in adult patients who have failed both chemoimmunotherapy and a B-cell receptor pathway inhibitor.
Venclyxto in combination with a hypomethylating agent is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) who are ineligible for intensive chemotherapy.
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients is contraindicated. Concomitant use of strong CYP3A inhibitors at initiation and during the dose-titration phase due to increased risk for tumour lysis syndrome (TLS). Concomitant use of preparations containing St. John's wort as Venclyxto efficacy may be reduced.
Special Warnings & Precautions for Use
Tumour Lysis syndrome, including fatal events, has occurred in patients when treated with Venclyxto. For CLL and AML, please refer to the indication-specific recommendations for prevention of TLS in the Venclyxto summary of product characteristic (SmPC).
Patients should be assessed for risk and should receive appropriate prophylaxis, monitoring, and management for TLS. The risk of TLS is a continuum based on multiple factors, including comorbidities. Venclyxto poses a risk for TLS at initiation and during the dose-titration phase. Changes in electrolytes consistent with TLS that require prompt management can occur as early as 6 to 8 hours following the first dose of Venclyxto and at each dose increase.
Neutropenia (grade 3 or 4) has been reported. Complete blood counts should be monitored throughout the treatment period.
In patients with AML, neutropenia (grade 3 or 4) is common before starting treatment. The neutrophil counts can worsen with Venetoclax in combination with a hypomethylating agent. Neutropenia can recur with subsequent cycles of therapy. Dose modification and interruptions for cytopenias are dependent on remission status.
For CLL and AML, please refer to the indication-specific recommendations for dose modifications for toxicities in the Venclyxto SmPC.
Serious infections including sepsis with fatal outcome have been reported. Monitoring of any signs and symptoms of infection is required. Suspected infections should receive prompt treatment including antimicrobials and dose interruption or reduction as appropriate.
Live vaccines should not be administered during treatment or thereafter until B-cell recovery.
In CLL and AML CYP3A inhibitors may increase Venclyxto plasma concentrations.
In CLL, at initiation and dose-titration phase, Strong CYP3A inhibitors are contraindicated due to increased risk for TLS and moderate CYP3A inhibitors should be avoided. If moderate CYP3A inhibitors must be used, please refer to the recommendations for dose modifications in the Venclyxto SmPC.
In AML, please refer to the AML-specific recommendation for dose modifications for potential interactions with CYP3A inhibitors, in the VENCLYXTO SmPC.
Avoid concomitant use of P-gp and BCRP inhibitors at initiation and during the dose titration phase.
CYP3A4 inducers may decrease Venclyxto plasma concentrations. Avoid coadministration with strong or moderate CYP3A inducers. These agents may decrease venetoclax plasma concentrations.
Co-administration of bile acid sequestrants with VENCLYXTO is not recommended as this may reduce the absorption of VENCLYXTO.
The most commonly occurring adverse reactions (>=20%) of any grade in patients receiving venetoclax in the combination studies with obinutuzumab or rituximab were neutropenia, diarrhoea, and upper respiratory tract infection. In the monotherapy studies, the most common adverse reactions were neutropenia/neutrophil count decreased, diarrhoea, nausea, anaemia, fatigue, and upper respiratory tract infection.
The most frequently occurring serious adverse reactions (>=2%) in patients receiving venetoclax in combination with obinutuzumab or rituximab were pneumonia, sepsis, febrile neutropenia, and TLS. In the monotherapy studies, the most frequently reported serious adverse reactions (>=2%) were pneumonia and febrile neutropenia.
Discontinuations due to adverse reactions occurred in 16% of patients treated with venetoclax in combination with obinutuzumab or rituximab in the CLL14 and Murano studies, respectively. In the monotherapy studies with venetoclax, 11% of patients discontinued due to adverse reactions.
Dosage reductions due to adverse reactions occurred in 21% of patients treated with the combination of venetoclax and obinutuzumab in CLL14, in 15% of patients treated with the combination of venetoclax and rituximab in Murano, and in 14% of patients treated with venetoclax in the monotherapy studies. The most common adverse reaction that led to dose interruptions was neutropenia.
The most commonly occurring adverse reactions (>=20%) of any grade in patients receiving venetoclax in combination with azacitidine or decitabine in the VIALE-A and M14-358, respectively, were thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, anaemia, fatigue, pneumonia, hypokalaemia, and decreased appetite, haemorrhage, dizziness/syncope, hypotension, headache, abdominal pain, and anaemia.
The most frequently reported serious adverse reactions (≥5%) in patients receiving venetoclax in combination with azacitidine were febrile neutropenia, pneumonia, sepsis and haemorrhage. In M14-358, the most frequently reported serious adverse reactions (≥5%) were febrile neutropenia, pneumonia, bacteraemia and sepsis.
Discontinuations due to adverse reactions occurred in 24% of patients treated with venetoclax in combination with azacitidine in the VIALE-A study, and 26% of patients treated with venetoclax in combination with decitabine in the M14-358 study, respectively.
Dosage reductions due to adverse reactions occurred in 2% of patients in VIALE-A, and in 6% of patients in M14-358. Venetoclax dose interruptions due to adverse reactions occurred in 72% and 65% of patients, respectively. The most common adverse reaction that led to dose interruption (>10%) of Venetoclax in VIALE-A, were febrile neutropenia, neutropenia, pneumonia, and thrombocytopenia. The most common adverse reactions that led to dose interruption (≥5%) of venetoclax in M14-358 were febrile neutropenia, neutropenia/neutrophil count decreased, pneumonia, platelet count decreased, and white blood cell count decreased.
Patients with reduced renal function (CrCl <80 mL/min) may require more intensive prophylaxis and monitoring to reduce the risk of TLS at initiation and during the dose-titration phase. Safety in patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl <30 mL/min) or on dialysis has not been established, and a recommended dose for these patients has not been determined.
For patients with severe (Child-Pugh C) hepatic impairment, a dose reduction of at least 50% throughout treatment is recommended.
Venclyxto may cause embryo-fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise nursing women to discontinue breastfeeding during treatment.
This is not a complete summary of all safety information. See Venclyxto (venetoclax) SmPC at www.ema.europa.eu. Globally, prescribing information varies; refer to the individual country product label for complete information.
About AbbVie in Oncology
At AbbVie, we are committed to transforming standards of care for multiple blood cancers while advancing a dynamic pipeline of investigational therapies across a range of cancer types. Our dedicated and experienced team joins forces with innovative partners to accelerate the delivery of potentially breakthrough medicines. We are evaluating more than 20 investigational medicines in over 300 clinical trials across some of the world's most widespread and debilitating cancers. As we work to have a remarkable impact on people's lives, we are committed to exploring solutions to help patients obtain access to our cancer medicines. For more information, please visit http://www.abbvie.com/oncology and our Blood Cancer Press Kit page.
AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across our Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
AbbVie Forward-Looking Statements
Some statements in this news release are, or may be considered, forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions and uses of future or conditional verbs, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges to intellectual property, competition from other products, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry. Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," of AbbVie's 2022 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as updated by its subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. AbbVie undertakes no obligation, and specifically declines, to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.
- Al-Sawaf O, et al. Venetoclax-Obinutuzumab for previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia: 6-year results of the randomized CLL14 study. Abstract No. S145. Presented orally at European Hematology Association 2023 Hybrid Congress, Frankfurt, Germany, June 8-11.
- Arnon P Kater, et al. Final seven-year follow-up and retreatment substudy analysis of MURANO: Venetoclax-rituximab (VenR)-treated patients with relapsed with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (R/R CLL). Abstract No. S201. Presented orally at European Hematology Association 2023 Hybrid Congress, Frankfurt, Germany, June 8-11.
- Fischer K, et al. Venetoclax and obinutuzumab in patients with CLL and coexisting conditions. N Engl J Med. 2019;380:2225-2236.
- Seymour JF, et al. Venetoclax-rituximab in relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia. N Engl J Med. 2018;378(12):1107-1120
- Summary of Product Characteristics for VENCLYXTO (venetoclax). Ludwigshafen, Germany: AbbVie Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG.