TOKYO - Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., 'Astellas') and Seagen Inc. (Nasdaq: SGEN) today announced positive topline results from the second cohort of patients in the pivotal phase 2 single-arm clinical trial known as EV-201.
The cohort is evaluating the antibody-drug conjugate PADCEV (enfortumab vedotin-ejfv) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who have been previously treated with a PD-1/L1 inhibitor and have not received a platinum-containing chemotherapy and are ineligible for cisplatin. Results showed a 52 percent objective response rate (ORR) [95% Confidence Interval (CI): 40.8, 62.4] per blinded independent central review and a median duration of response of 10.9 months. The most frequently reported treatment-related adverse events Grade 3 or greater that occurred in more than 5 percent of patients were: neutropenia, rash, fatigue, increased lipase, diarrhea, decreased appetite, anemia and hyperglycemia. Data from cohort 2 of the trial will be submitted for presentation at an upcoming scientific congress and will be discussed with regulatory authorities.
PADCEV is a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) that is directed against Nectin-4, a protein located on the surface of cells and highly expressed in bladder cancer.1,2 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to PADCEV in 2019 based on results from the first cohort in this trial, which included patients whose disease had progressed during or following platinum-based chemotherapy and a PD-1/L1 inhibitor.
'Advanced urothelial cancer in patients who have received immunotherapy and are ineligible for cisplatin is a particularly difficult disease to treat,' said Arjun Balar, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Director Genitourinary Medical Oncology Program, NYU Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Health and an investigator for the trial. 'Typically, these patients are frail, suffer from multiple comorbidities beyond their urothelial cancer and are not able to tolerate additional treatment beyond immunotherapy, leading many to discontinue therapy altogether.'
'We are committed to developing new treatments for patients with hard-to-treat cancers, such as those with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer that has progressed following treatment with a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor and who are ineligible for cisplatin therapy,' said Andrew Krivoshik, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Oncology Therapeutic Area Head, Astellas. 'We look forward to discussing these data with regulatory authorities including the FDA.'
'This is the first trial to report objective responses in patients with advanced urothelial cancer who had previously received immunotherapy but were ineligible for cisplatin in this setting due to inadequate kidney function or other conditions,' said Roger Dansey, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Seagen. 'These promising new data from EV-201 may support a regulatory application to extend use of PADCEV in U.S. patients whose cancer has progressed after immunotherapy and who are ineligible for cisplatin.'
Urothelial cancer is the most common type of bladder cancer (90 percent of cases), and can also be found in the urothelial cells that line the renal pelvis (where urine collects inside the kidney), ureter (tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder) and urethra.3 Globally, approximately 580,000 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2020, and bladder cancer will be attributed to approximately 210,000 deaths worldwide.4
About the EV-201 Trial
The EV-201 trial (NCT03219333) is a single-arm, pivotal phase 2 clinical trial of enfortumab vedotin for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who have been previously treated with a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor, including those who have also been treated with a platinum-containing chemotherapy (cohort 1) and those who have not received a platinum-containing chemotherapy in this setting and who are ineligible for cisplatin (cohort 2). The trial enrolled 128 patients in cohort 1 and 91 patients in cohort 2 at multiple centers internationally.5 The primary endpoint is confirmed objective response rate per blinded independent central review. Secondary endpoints include assessments of duration of response, disease control rate, progression-free survival, overall survival, safety and tolerability.
About PADCEV (enfortumab vedotin-ejfv)
PADCEV was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2019 and is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who have previously received a programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) or programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor and a platinum-containing chemotherapy before (neoadjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery or in a locally advanced or metastatic setting. PADCEV was approved under the FDA's Accelerated Approval Program based on tumor response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.1
PADCEV is a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) that is directed against Nectin-4, a protein located on the surface of cells and highly expressed in bladder cancer.1,2 Nonclinical data suggest the anticancer activity of PADCEV is due to its binding to Nectin-4 expressing cells followed by the internalization and release of the anti-tumor agent monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) into the cell, which result in the cell not reproducing (cell cycle arrest) and in programmed cell death (apoptosis).2 PADCEV is co-developed by Astellas and Seagen.
Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+ healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients.
Seagen Inc. is a global biotechnology company that discovers, develops and commercializes transformative cancer medicines to make a meaningful difference in people's lives. Seagen is headquartered in the Seattle, Washington area, and has locations in California, Canada, Switzerland and the European Union.
About the Astellas and Seagen Collaboration
Astellas and Seagen are co-developing PADCEV (enfortumab vedotin-ejfv) under a collaboration that was entered into in 2007 and expanded in 2009.
Astellas Cautionary Notes
In this press release, statements made with respect to current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Astellas. These statements are based on management's current assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in general economic conditions and in laws and regulations, relating to pharmaceutical markets, (ii) currency exchange rate fluctuations, (iii) delays in new product launches, (iv) the inability of Astellas to market existing and new products effectively, (v) the inability of Astellas to continue to effectively research and develop products accepted by customers in highly competitive markets, and (vi) infringements of Astellas' intellectual property rights by third parties.
Information about pharmaceutical products (including products currently in development), which is included in this press release is not intended to constitute an advertisement or medical advice.
Seagen Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release are forward looking, such as those, among others, relating to the submission of data from cohort 2 of the EV-201 trial for presentation at an upcoming scientific congress; intended regulatory actions, including the potential submission of a regulatory application to extend the use of PADCEV in U.S. patients or plans to discuss data from cohort 2 of the EV-201 trial with regulatory authorities and the therapeutic potential of PADCEV, including its efficacy, safety and therapeutic uses. Actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected or implied in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference include that the data from cohort 2 of the EV-201 trial may not be selected for presentation at scientific congresses; the possibility of delays in the submission of any regulatory application to extend the use of PADCEV in U.S. patients; that the results from cohort 2 of the EV-201 trial may not be enough to support any approvals by regulatory authorities; that any product labeling that is approved may be narrower or less desirable than anticipated; the risk of adverse events or safety signals and the possibility that adverse regulatory actions may occur. Seagen disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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