Celgene International Sàrl, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celgene Corporation, today announced that the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a positive opinion for ABRAXANE® (paclitaxel formulated as albumin-bound nanoparticles, or nab-paclitaxel) in combination with carboplatin for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer in adult patients who are not candidates for potentially curative surgery and/or radiation therapy.
Lung cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women, however it is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in Europe. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common form of lung cancer, accounting for 85 to 90% of all cases. The predominant cause of lung cancer is cigarette smoking, although environmental and occupational factors also can cause the cancer. Treatment options generally include systemic chemotherapy or protein kinase inhibitors. In the most advanced cases, only the symptoms of the disease can be managed; there is a clear need for innovative new medicines for the treatment of lung cancer.
“Progress in lung cancer will come first from early diagnosis with patients presenting promptly with symptoms and second, with new drugs that are well tolerated and improve on current therapies. Incremental steps can lead to a meaningful impact on patients and society, given the frequency and aggressiveness of lung cancer,” says Dr. Mary O’Brien, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, UK. “The positive CHMP opinion for ABRAXANE in combination with carboplatin for the treatment of adult patients with NSCLC is a significant step toward bringing a new treatment option to patients in Europe. The clinical data show patients had a significant positive response rate to the treatment, combined with an established safety profile. The therapy has also shown a significant response benefit for a subset of patients with squamous cell lung cancer, where there have been limited treatment advances in recent years.”
The positive CHMP opinion was based on the results of a multicenter, randomized, open-label study including 1,052 chemotherapy-naive patients with Stage IIIb/IV non-small cell lung cancer. The study compared ABRAXANE in combination with carboplatin versus solvent-based paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin as first-line treatment in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. The primary efficacy endpoint, overall response rate, was significantly higher for patients in the ABRAXANE/carboplatin arm at 33%, compared with patients in the control arm, at 25%. The most common adverse reactions
(≥ 20%) of ABRAXANE in combination with carboplatin for NSCLC were anaemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, peripheral neuropathy, nausea, and fatigue.
Tuomo Pätsi, President of Celgene in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said, “The positive CHMP opinion is the first opportunity for Celgene to play a role in helping patients with NSCLC have access to an important treatment option in Europe. The anticipated European Commission decision would be the third approved indication for ABRAXANE, underscoring the value of this medicine. We are committed to ensuring that patients who need ABRAXANE will gain access to it once approved by the European Commission.”
The CHMP reviews applications for all 28 member states in the European Union (EU), as well as Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. The European Commission, which generally follows the recommendation of the CHMP, is expected to make its final decision within approximately two months. If approval is granted, detailed conditions for the use of this product will be described in the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC), which will be published in the revised European Public Assessment Report (EPAR).
ABRAXANE is not currently indicated for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC in the European Union.
ABRAXANE® is an albumin-bound form of paclitaxel that is manufactured using patented nab® technology. ABRAXANE is formulated with albumin, a human protein, and is free of solvents.
ABRAXANE was first approved in January 2005 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy. Prior therapy should have included an anthracycline unless clinically contraindicated. In Europe, ABRAXANE was approved in January 2008 as monotherapy for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer in adult patients who have failed first-line treatment for metastatic disease and for whom standard, anthracycline containing therapy is not indicated. ABRAXANE is now approved in more than 50 countries for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
In October 2012, ABRAXANE was approved by the FDA for the first-line treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in combination with carboplatin, in patients who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation therapy. ABRAXANE is also approved for the treatment of NSCLC in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore.
In September 2013, the FDA approved ABRAXANE as first–line treatment of patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, in combination with gemcitabine. In December 2013, ABRAXANE in combination with gemcitabine was approved for first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas in Europe. ABRAXANE is also approved for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer in more than 40 countries.