Bristol-Myers Squibb Receives Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s 2015 Collaborator Award
“This award is especially meaningful to Bristol-Myers Squibb. We are proud of the long-standing partnership with the MMRF, which has allowed us to achieve our shared goals of providing hope to those fighting this terrible cancer,” said Michael Giordano, M.D., senior vice president, Head of Development, Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We applaud the MMRF for driving innovation in this space, and we look forward to working with the organization and the broader multiple myeloma community – including the patients, families, and healthcare professionals who participate in our clinical trial program – to continue to advance research that can deliver improved outcomes for patients.”
The Collaborator Award is part of an annual initiative by the MMRF to recognize the exceptional work of its partners from industry and academia who have played a critical role toward fulfilling the organization’s mission: to pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and ultimately lead to a cure.
“We are excited to present this award to Bristol-Myers Squibb which acknowledges their leadership in scientific innovation and unwavering commitment to multiple myeloma. We appreciate their dedication to understanding and embracing the complex needs of multiple myeloma patients, to respond to healthcare professionals as they work to better fight this disease, and to bring it all together in profound service to our community,” said Walter M. Capone, president and chief executive officer, MMRF. “All of us at the MMRF and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, our research partners, and all of the patients for whom we tirelessly work are sincerely grateful for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s shared dedication to multiple myeloma.”
The award was announced shortly following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval on November 30, 2015, of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Empliciti™ (elotuzumab) as a combination therapy with Revlimid® (lenalidomide) and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received one to three prior therapies. With Empliciti, Bristol-Myers Squibb is providing a new approach to treating multiple myeloma, as it is the first and only immunostimulatory antibody approved for treatment of the disease.
Empliciti is an immunostimulatory antibody that specifically targets Signaling Lymphocyte Activation Molecule Family member 7 (SLAMF7), a cell-surface glycoprotein. SLAMF7 is expressed on myeloma cells independent of cytogenetic abnormalities. SLAMF7 is also expressed on Natural Killer cells, plasma cells, and at lower levels on specific immune cell subsets of differentiated cells within the hematopoietic lineage.
Empliciti has a dual mechanism-of-action. It directly activates the immune system through Natural Killer cells via the SLAMF7 pathway. Empliciti also targets SLAMF7 on myeloma cells, tagging these malignant cells for Natural Killer cell-mediated destruction via antibody-dependent cellular toxicity.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and AbbVie are co-developing Empliciti, with Bristol-Myers Squibb solely responsible for commercial activities. Prior to approval, Empliciti was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA for use in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of multiple myeloma in patients who have received one to three prior therapies. According to the FDA, Breakthrough Therapy Designation is intended to expedite the development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions. The criteria for Breakthrough Therapy Designation requires preliminary clinical evidence that demonstrates the drug may have substantial improvement on at least one clinically significant endpoint over available therapy.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a hematologic, or blood, cancer that develops in the bone marrow. It occurs when a plasma cell, a type of cell in the soft center of bone marrow, becomes cancerous and multiplies uncontrollably. Common symptoms of multiple myeloma include bone pain, fatigue, kidney impairment, and infections.
Despite advances in multiple myeloma treatment over the last decade, less than half of patients survive for five or more years after diagnosis. A common characteristic for many patients is that they experience a cycle of remission and relapse, in which they stop treatment for a short time, but eventually return to a treatment shortly after. It is estimated that annually, more than 114,200 new cases of multiple myeloma are diagnosed and more than 80,000 people die from the disease globally.
EMPLICITI (elotuzumab) INDICATIONS & IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
EMPLICITI™ (elotuzumab) is indicated in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received one to three prior therapies.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- EMPLICITI can cause infusion reactions. Common symptoms include fever, chills, and hypertension. Bradycardia and hypotension also developed during infusions. In the trial, 5% of patients required interruption of the administration of EMPLICITI for a median of 25 minutes due to infusion reactions, and 1% of patients discontinued due to infusion reactions. Of the patients who experienced an infusion reaction, 70% (23/33) had them during the first dose. If a Grade 2 or higher infusion reaction occurs, interrupt the EMPLICITI infusion and institute appropriate medical and supportive measures. If the infusion reaction recurs, stop the EMPLICITI infusion and do not restart it on that day. Severe infusion reactions may require permanent discontinuation of EMPLICITI therapy and emergency treatment.
- Premedicate with dexamethasone, H1 Blocker, H2 Blocker, and acetaminophen prior to infusing with EMPLICITI.
- In a clinical trial of patients with multiple myeloma (N=635), infections were reported in 81.4% of patients in the EMPLICITI with lenalidomide/dexamethasone arm (ERd) and 74.4% in the lenalidomide/dexamethasone arm (Rd). Grade 3-4 infections were 28% (ERd) and 24.3% (Rd). Opportunistic infections were reported in 22% (ERd) and 12.9% (Rd). Fungal infections were 9.7% (ERd) and 5.4% (Rd). Herpes zoster was 13.5% (ERd) and 6.9% (Rd). Discontinuations due to infections were 3.5% (ERd) and 4.1% (Rd). Fatal infections were 2.5% (ERd) and 2.2% (Rd). Monitor patients for development of infections and treat promptly.
Second Primary Malignancies
- In a clinical trial of patients with multiple myeloma (N=635), invasive second primary malignancies (SPM) were 9.1% (ERd) and 5.7% (Rd). The rate of hematologic malignancies were the same between ERd and Rd treatment arms (1.6%). Solid tumors were reported in 3.5% (ERd) and 2.2% (Rd). Skin cancer was reported in 4.4% (ERd) and 2.8% (Rd). Monitor patients for the development of SPMs.
- Elevations in liver enzymes (AST/ALT greater than 3 times the upper limit, total bilirubin greater than 2 times the upper limit, and alkaline phosphatase less than 2 times the upper limit) consistent with hepatotoxicity were 2.5% (ERd) and 0.6% (Rd). Two patients experiencing hepatotoxicity discontinued treatment; however, 6 out of 8 patients had resolution and continued treatment. Monitor liver enzymes periodically. Stop EMPLICITI upon Grade 3 or higher elevation of liver enzymes. After return to baseline values, continuation of treatment may be considered.
Interference with Determination of Complete Response
- EMPLICITI is a humanized IgG kappa monoclonal antibody that can be detected on both the serum protein electrophoresis and immunofixation assays used for the clinical monitoring of endogenous M-protein. This interference can impact the determination of complete response and possibly relapse from complete response in patients with IgG kappa myeloma protein.
Pregnancy/Females and Males of Reproductive Potential
- There are no studies with EMPLICITI with pregnant women to inform any drug associated risks.
- There is a risk of fetal harm, including severe life-threatening human birth defects associated with lenalidomide and it is contraindicated for use in pregnancy. Refer to the lenalidomide full prescribing information for requirements regarding contraception and the prohibitions against blood and/or sperm donation due to presence and transmission in blood and/or semen and for additional information.
- Infusion reactions were reported in approximately 10% of patients treated with EMPLICITI with lenalidomide and dexamethasone. All reports of infusion reaction were Grade 3 or lower. Grade 3 infusion reactions occurred in 1% of patients.
- Serious adverse reactions were 65.4% (ERd) and 56.5% (Rd). The most frequent serious adverse reactions in the ERd arm compared to the Rd arm were: pneumonia (15.4%, 11%), pyrexia (6.9%, 4.7%), respiratory tract infection (3.1%, 1.3%), anemia (2.8%, 1.9%), pulmonary embolism (3.1%, 2.5%), and acute renal failure (2.5%, 1.9%).
- The most common adverse reactions in ERd and Rd, respectively (>20%) were fatigue (61.6%, 51.7%), diarrhea (46.9%, 36.0%), pyrexia (37.4%, 24.6%), constipation (35.5%, 27.1%), cough (34.3%, 18.9%), peripheral neuropathy (26.7%, 20.8%), nasopharyngitis (24.5%, 19.2%), upper respiratory tract infection (22.6%, 17.4%), decreased appetite (20.8%, 12.6%), and pneumonia (20.1%, 14.2%).
Please see the full Prescribing Information here.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit www.bms.comor follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb's business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Empliciti is a trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Revlimid is a registered trademark of Celgene Corporation.
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