South San Francisco, CA — June 10, 2019 — Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval to Polivy (polatuzumab vedotin-piiq) in combination with bendamustine plus Rituxan (rituximab) (BR) for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory (R/R) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), who have received at least two prior therapies. Accelerated approval was granted for this indication based on complete response rates observed in a randomized, controlled clinical trial. The FDA’s Accelerated Approval Program allows conditional approval of a medicine that fills an unmet medical need for a serious condition. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.
“Despite meaningful progress in the treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, treatment options are very limited when the disease is refractory to or recurrent after multiple regimens,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “Today’s approval of this Polivy combination will provide a novel treatment that is both immediately available and very much needed for people with this aggressive disease.”
“The approval of Polivy in combination with bendamustine and Rituxan offers patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma a new treatment option and new hope for improving patient outcomes,” said Meghan Gutierrez, chief executive officer at the Lymphoma Research Foundation. “New medicines can transform the way healthcare providers approach this type of blood cancer and we commend those who contribute to accelerating research for the benefit of patients.”
The accelerated approval of Polivy was based on the results from the Phase Ib/II GO29365 study. This is the first and only randomized pivotal clinical trial to show higher response rates over BR, a commonly used regimen, in people with R/R DLBCL who are ineligible for a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Results of the study showed that 40 percent of people treated with Polivy plus BR achieved a complete response (n=16/40; 95 percent CI: 25-57), meaning no cancer could be detected at the time of assessment, compared to 18 percent with BR alone (n=7/40; 95 percent CI: 7-33). Complete response rates were assessed by independent review committee. The study also showed that 45 percent of people on Polivy plus BR achieved an objective response at the end of treatment (n=18/40; 95 percent CI: 29-62), compared to 18 percent of people treated with BR alone (n=7/40; 95 percent CI: 7-33). Of the people treated with Polivy plus BR who achieved a complete or partial response, 64 percent (n=16/25) had a duration of response (DOR) lasting at least six months as compared to 30 percent (n=3/10) of people treated with BR alone. Additionally, 48 percent (n=12/25) of people treated with Polivy plus BR had a DOR lasting at least a year as compared to 20 percent (n=2/10) of people treated with BR alone. Adverse reactions occurring in at least 20 percent of patients, and at least five percent more frequently in patients treated with Polivy plus BR compared to BR alone, included low white blood cell count, low platelet levels, low red blood cell count, numbness, tingling or pain in the hands and feet, diarrhea, fever, decreased appetite and pneumonia.
The FDA granted Priority Review for the company’s Biologics License Application for Polivy in February 2019. Priority Review designation is granted to medicines that the FDA considers to have the potential to provide significant improvements in the safety and effectiveness of the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a serious disease. In addition, Polivy was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA and PRIME (PRIority MEdicines) designation by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of people with R/R DLBCL in 2017. Breakthrough Therapy Designation is designed to expedite the development and review of medicines intended to treat a serious condition with preliminary evidence that indicates they may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies.
For those who qualify, Genentech will offer patient assistance programs for people taking Polivy and Rituxan through Genentech Access Solutions. Doctors can contact Genentech Access Solutions at (866) 422-2377. More information is also available at http://www.Genentech-Access.com.
About the GO29365 study
GO29365 is a global, Phase Ib/II randomized study evaluating the safety, tolerability and activity of Polivy (polatuzumab vedotin-piiq) in combination with bendamustine and Rituxan (rituximab) (BR) or Gazyva (obinutuzumab) in relapsed or refractory (R/R) follicular lymphoma or diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Eligible patients were not candidates for hematopoietic stem cell transplant at study entry. The Phase II part of the study randomized 80 patients with heavily pre-treated R/R DLBCL to receive either BR, or BR in combination with Polivy for a fixed duration of six 21-day cycles. Patients enrolled had received a median of two prior therapies (a range of 1-7 prior therapies in the Polivy arm and range of 1-5 prior therapies in the BR alone arm). The primary endpoint was complete response (CR) at the end of treatment, as measured by positron emission tomography and assessed by an independent review committee (IRC). Secondary endpoints included overall response rate (ORR; CR and partial response) by investigator assessment and best ORR at the end of treatment by investigator and IRC assessment. Exploratory endpoints included duration of response (DOR), progression-free survival, event-free survival and overall survival.
About Polivy (polatuzumab vedotin-piiq)
Polivy is a first-in-class anti-CD79b antibody-drug conjugate (ADC). The CD79b protein is expressed specifically in the majority of B-cells, an immune cell impacted in some types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), making it a promising target for the development of new therapies. Polivy binds to CD79b and destroys these B-cells through the delivery of an anti-cancer agent, which is thought to minimize the effects on normal cells. Polivy is being developed by Roche using Seattle Genetics ADC technology and is currently being investigated for the treatment of several types of NHL.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), accounting for about one in three cases of NHL. DLBCL is an aggressive (fast-growing) type of NHL, which is generally responsive to treatment in the frontline. However, as many as 40 percent of patients will relapse, at which time salvage therapy options are limited and survival is short. In the United States, it is estimated that nearly 25,000 new cases of DLBCL will be diagnosed in 2019.
Polivy U.S. Indication
Polivy is a prescription medicine used with other medicines, bendamustine and a rituximab product, to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in adults who have had at least two prior therapies.
The approval of Polivy is based on a type of response rate. There is an ongoing study to confirm the clinical benefit of Polivy.
Important Safety Information
Possible serious side effects
Everyone reacts differently to Polivy therapy, so it’s important to know what the side effects are. Some people who have been treated with Polivy have experienced serious to fatal side effects. A patient’s doctor may stop or adjust a patient’s treatment if any serious side effects occur. Patients must contact their healthcare team if there are any signs of these side effects.
- Infections: Patients should contact their healthcare team, if they experience a fever of 100.4°F or higher, chills, cough, or pain during urination. Also, a patient’s doctor may give medication, which may prevent some infections, before giving Polivy and monitor blood counts throughout treatment with Polivy
- Infusion-related reactions: A patient may experience fever, chills, rash, or breathing problems within 24 hours of the infusion
- Nerve problems in arms and legs: This may happen as early as after the first dose and may worsen with every dose. If a patient already has nerve pain, Polivy may make it worse. The patient’s doctor will monitor for signs and symptoms, such as numbness and tingling
- Rare and serious brain infections: A patient’s doctor will monitor the patient closely for signs and symptoms of these types of infections. Patients should contact their doctor if they experience confusion, dizziness or loss of balance, trouble talking or walking, or vision changes
- Tumor lysis syndrome: Caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells. Signs include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of energy
- Potential harm to liver: Some signs include tiredness, weight loss, pain in the abdomen, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin or the white part of the eyes. Patients may be at higher risk if they already have liver problems or are taking other medication
Side effects seen most often
The most common side effects during treatment were
- Low blood cell counts (platelets, red blood cells, white blood cells)
- Nerve problems in arms and legs
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Decreased appetite
Polivy may not be for everyone. A patient should talk to their doctor if they are
- Pregnant or may be pregnant: Data have shown that Polivy may harm an unborn baby
- Planning to become pregnant: Women should avoid getting pregnant while taking Polivy. Women should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 3 months after their last Polivy treatment. Men taking Polivy should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 5 months after their last Polivy treatment
- Breastfeeding: Women should not breastfeed while taking Polivy and for 2 months after the last dose
- These may not be all the side effects. Patients should talk to their healthcare provider for more information about the benefits and risks of Polivy treatment.
Report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or http://www.fda.gov/medwatch. Report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.
Please visit http://www.Polivy.com for the full Prescribing Information for additional Important Safety Information.
About Genentech in Hematology
For more than 20 years, Genentech has been developing medicines with the goal to redefine treatment in hematology. Today, we’re investing more than ever in our effort to bring innovative treatment options to people with diseases of the blood. Genentech now has five approved medicines in our broader hematology portfolio. For more information visit http://www.gene.com/hematology.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.
Posted: June 2019