Ipsen and Exelixis announce phase 3 trial results of cabozantinib demonstrating significant overall survival benefit in patients with previously treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma
Pivotal phase 3 CELESTIAL trial results, including additional subset analyses, to be presented during oral session on Friday, January 19 at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (ASCO GI)
In line with and in collaboration with our partner Exelixis, Ipsen expects to file in the first half of 2018 a variation of the initial application to the EMA and other relevant regulatory agencies
Paris (France), 16 January 2018 – Ipsen (Euronext:IPN; ADR:IPSEY) and Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL) today announced detailed results of the pivotal phase 3 CELESTIAL trial in patients with previously treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which will be presented in a late-breaking oral session at the 2018 ASCO-GI Symposium being held in San Francisco, January 18-20, 2018. In CELESTIAL, cabozantinib provided a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement versus placebo in overall survival (OS), the trial’s primary endpoint, at the planned second interim analysis (prespecified critical p value £ 0.021) for the population of second- and third-line patients enrolled in this study. Median OS was 10.2 months with cabozantinib versus 8.0 months with placebo (HR 0.76, 95 percent CI 0.63-0.92; p=0.0049). Median progression-free survival (PFS) was more than doubled, at 5.2 months with cabozantinib and 1.9 months with placebo (HR 0.44, 95 percent CI 0.36-0.52; p<0.0001). Objective response rates per RECIST 1.1 were 4 percent with cabozantinib and 0.4 percent with placebo (p=0.0086). Disease control (partial response or stable disease) was achieved by 64 percent of the cabozantinib group compared with 33 percent of the placebo group.
In a subgroup analysis of patients whose only prior therapy for advanced HCC was sorafenib (70 percent of patients in the study), median OS was 11.3 months with cabozantinib versus 7.2 months with placebo (HR 0.70, 95 percent CI 0.55-0.88). Median PFS in the subgroup was 5.5 months with cabozantinib versus 1.9 months with placebo (HR 0.40, 95 percent CI 0.32-0.50). Adverse events were consistent with the known safety profile of cabozantinib.
Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, M.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York and lead investigator on CELESTIAL, will present detailed findings, including analyses of OS and PFS in various patient subgroups, during Oral Abstract Session B: Cancers of the Pancreas, Small Bowel, and Hepatobiliary Tract, which begins at 2:15 p.m. PT on Friday, January 19, 2018.
“Patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma often have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options following prior systemic therapy,” said Dr. Abou-Alfa. “The clinically significant benefits in both overall survival and progression-free survival shown in the CELESTIAL trial suggest that, if approved, cabozantinib could become an important addition to the treatment landscape for these patients.”
“We are excited by the potential benefit cabozantinib may offer to patients with previously treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma,” said Gisela Schwab, M.D., President, Product Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Exelixis. “Given the worldwide prevalence of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, there is a continued urgency to bring new treatment options to this patient population. We look forward to submitting our supplemental New Drug Application to the FDA for cabozantinib in the first quarter of 2018, and to further advancing our mission to help cancer patients recover stronger and live longer.”
Alexandre Lebeaut, M.D., Executive Vice-President, R&D, Chief Scientific Officer, Ipsen, said: “ Patients diagnosed with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma urgently need new treatment options. The positive results of the pivotal phase 3 CELESTIAL trial are encouraging for both physicians and patients, and we have committed to file in the first half of 2018 a variation of the initial application to the EMA and other relevant regulatory agencies. ”
The most common (≥10 percent) grade 3 or 4 adverse events in the cabozantinib group compared to the placebo group were palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (17 percent vs. 0 percent), hypertension (16 percent vs. 2 percent), increased aspartate aminotransferase (12 percent vs. 7 percent), fatigue (10 percent vs. 4 percent), and diarrhea (10 percent vs. 2 percent). Treatment-related grade 5 adverse events occurred in six patients in the cabozantinib group (hepatic failure, esophagobronchial fistula, portal vein thrombosis, upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage, pulmonary embolism and hepatorenal syndrome) and in one patient in the placebo group (hepatic failure). Sixteen percent of patients in the cabozantinib arm and three percent of patients in the placebo arm discontinued treatment due to treatment-related adverse events.
Webcast for the Financial Community
Ipsen and its partner Exelixis will host a live briefing event for the financial community to discuss data presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (ASCO-GI). The webcast event will be held following the closing of the ASCO-GI day’s sessions on Friday, January 19, 2018, beginning at 9:30 p.m. EST / 6:30 p.m. PST (local San Francisco time). During the briefing, Exelixis and Ipsen management, along with an invited guest, will discuss and provide context for the cabozantinib clinical data presented earlier that day at the Symposium. Ipsen previously announced that detailed results from the CELESTIAL trial will be the subject of a late-breaking oral presentation at ASCO-GI. CELESTIAL is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of cabozantinib versus placebo in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who have received prior treatment with sorafenib.
To access the webcast link, log onto www.exelixis.com and proceed to the News & Events / Event Calendar page under the Investors & Media heading. Please connect to the company’s website at least 15 minutes prior to the presentation to ensure adequate time for any software download that may be required to listen to the webcast. Alternatively, please call 855-793-2457 (domestic) or 631-485-4921 (international) and provide the conference call passcode 2478857 to join by phone. A webcast replay will be archived on www.exelixis.com for one year. A telephone replay will also be available until 11:59 p.m. EST on January 26, 2018. Access numbers for the telephone replay are: 855-859-2056 (domestic) and 404-537-3406 (international); the passcode is 2478857.
About the CELESTIAL Study
CELESTIAL is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of cabozantinib in patients with advanced HCC conducted at more than 100 sites globally in 19 countries. The trial was designed to enroll 760 patients with advanced HCC who received prior sorafenib and may have received up to two prior systemic cancer therapies for HCC and had adequate liver function. Enrollment of the trial was completed in September 2017. Patients were randomized 2:1 to receive 60 mg of cabozantinib once daily or placebo and were stratified based on etiology of the disease (hepatitis C, hepatitis B or other), geographic region (Asia versus other regions) and presence of extrahepatic spread and/or macrovascular invasion (yes or no). No cross-over was allowed between the study arms during the blinded treatment phase of the study.
The primary endpoint for the trial is OS, and secondary endpoints include objective response rate and PFS. Exploratory endpoints include patient-reported outcomes, biomarkers and safety.
Based on available clinical trial data from various published trials conducted in the second-line setting of advanced HCC, the CELESTIAL trial design assumed a median OS of 8.2 months for the placebo arm. A total of 621 events provide the study with 90 percent power to detect a 32 percent increase in median OS (HR = 0.76) at the final analysis. Two interim analyses were planned and conducted at approximately 50 percent and 75 percent of the planned 621 events. At the first interim analysis conducted by the independent data monitoring committee the observed hazard ratio was 0.71 and the p-value was 0.0041, which did not cross the stopping boundary for the first interim analysis (p ≤ 0.0037).
On October 16, 2017, Ipsen announced that the independent data monitoring committee recommended that the trial be stopped for efficacy following review of the second planned interim analysis, as the trial had met its primary endpoint of OS (prespecified critical p value £ 0.021).