Data at ASCO Show Promise of Novartis Drugs For Patients With Life-Threatening Diseases Like CML, Multiple Myeloma and Breast Cancer
"Our scientific presence at ASCO speaks to our commitment to improve cancer treatment by discovering, developing and making available individualized therapies for diseases where there is unmet medical need," said Herve Hoppenot, President, Novartis Oncology. "Through our robust discovery and development program, we will continue to be a leader in the oncology community, working to bring forth significant treatment advances that strive to improve the lives of patients suffering from cancer."
Notable data with Novartis treatments include the following oral presentations:
Data from the Novartis Oncology pipeline include innovative, targeted therapies in various solid tumor types:
Other key studies being presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of ASCO underscore Novartis Oncology's commitment to exploring the potential of currently approved products in areas of unmet patient need, including:
Tasigna has been approved in more than 80 countries for the treatment of chronic phase (CP) and accelerated phase Ph+ CML in adult patients resistant or intolerant to at least one prior therapy, including Gleevec® (imatinib mesylate)*. The effectiveness of Tasigna for this indication is based on confirmed hematologic and unconfirmed cytogenetic response rates. There are no controlled trials demonstrating a clinical benefit, such as improvement in disease-related symptoms or increased survival.
Tasigna is not approved for the treatment of newly diagnosed Ph+ CML-CP.
* Known as Glivec® (imatinib) outside the US, Canada and Israel.
Tasigna important safety information
Do not use in patients with hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, or long QT syndrome.
Warnings and precautions
Treatment with Tasigna can cause Grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, and anemia. Complete blood counts should be performed every two weeks for the first 2 months and then monthly thereafter, or as clinically indicated. Myelosuppression was generally reversible and usually managed by withholding Tasigna temporarily or dose reduction.
Tasigna prolongs the QT interval. ECGs should be performed at baseline, seven days after initiation, periodically as clinically indicated, and following dose adjustments. Correct hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia prior to administration and monitor periodically.
Significant prolongation of the QT interval may occur when Tasigna is inappropriately taken with food, and/or strong CYP3A4 inhibitors and/or medicinal products with a known potential to prolong QT. Therefore, co-administration with food must be avoided and concomitant use with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors and/or medicinal products with a known potential to prolong QT should be avoided. The presence of hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia may further enhance this effect.
There were sudden deaths reported in the safety population and in the expanded access program. Ventricular repolarization abnormalities may have contributed to their occurrence.
Elevated serum lipase
Caution is recommended in patients with a history of pancreatitis. Check serum lipase levels monthly or as clinically indicated.
Serum bilirubin and hepatic transaminases
The use of Tasigna may result in elevations in bilirubin, AST/ALT, and alkaline phosphatase. Hepatic function tests should be checked monthly or as clinically indicated.
Tasigna can cause hypophosphatemia, hypokalemia, hyperkalemia, hypocalcemia, and hyponatremia. Correct electrolyte abnormalities prior to initiating Tasigna and monitor periodically during therapy.
Nilotinib exposure is increased in patients with impaired hepatic function. A lower starting dose is recommended for patients with mild to severe hepatic impairment and QT interval should be monitored closely.
The concomitant use of QT prolonging drugs and strong inhibitors or inducers of CYP3A4 should be avoided as they may affect serum concentration of Tasigna.
Concomitant strong CYP3A4 inhibitors
The concomitant use of strong CYP3A4 inhibitors or anti-arrhythmic drugs (including, but not limited to amiodarone, disopyramide, procainamide, quinidine, and sotalol) and other drugs that may prolong QT interval (including, but not limited to chloroquine, halofantrine, clarithromycin, haloperidol, methadone, moxifloxacin, bepridil, and pimozide) should be avoided. Should treatment with any of these agents be required, it is recommended that therapy with Tasigna be interrupted. If interruption of treatment with Tasigna is not possible, patients who require treatment with a drug that prolongs QT or strongly inhibits CYP3A4 should be closely monitored for prolongation of the QT interval, and a dose reduction to 1/2 the daily dose is recommended (400 mg once daily). If the strong inhibitor is discontinued, a washout period should be allowed before Tasigna is adjusted upward to the indicated dose. Close monitoring for prolongation of the QT interval is indicated for patients who cannot avoid strong CYP3A4 inhibitors. Grapefruit products and other foods that are known to inhibit CYP3A4 should also be avoided.
Concomitant strong CYP3A4 inducers
The concomitant use of strong CYP3A4 inducers should be avoided (including, but not limited to, dexamethasone, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin, rifabutin, rifapentin, phenobarbital). Patients should also refrain from taking St John's Wort. If patients must be co-administered a strong CYP3A4 inducer, the dose of Tasigna may need to be increased, depending on patient tolerability. If the strong inducer is discontinued, the Tasigna dose should be reduced to the indicated Tasigna dose. Tasigna is a competitive inhibitor of CYP3A4, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2D6, and UGT1A1. In vitro studies also suggest that nilotinib may induce CYP2B6, CYP2C8, and CYP2C9, and decrease the concentrations of drugs which are eliminated by these enzymes. Single-dose administration of Tasigna to healthy subjects did not change the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of warfarin (a CYP2C9 substrate). The ability of Tasigna to induce metabolism has not been determined in vivo. Caution should be exercised when co-administering Tasigna with substrates for these enzymes that have a narrow therapeutic index. Tasigna inhibits human P-glycoprotein. If Tasigna is administered with drugs that are substrates of Pgp, increased concentrations of the substrate are likely and caution should be exercised.
Food increases blood levels of Tasigna. Patients should avoid food 2 hours before and at least 1 hour after the dose is taken.
Since the capsules contain lactose, Tasigna is not recommended for patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency with a severe degree of intolerance to lactose-containing products, or of glucose-galactose malabsorption.
Use in pregnancy
There are no adequate and well controlled studies of Tasigna in pregnant women. However, Tasigna may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Women of child-bearing potential should avoid becoming pregnant while taking Tasigna and should be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus if they do.
In chronic phase patients, the most commonly reported adverse reactions (>10%) were rash (33%), pruritus (29%), nausea (31%), fatigue (28%), headache (31%), constipation (21%), diarrhea (22%), and vomiting (21%). The most common (>10%) Grade 3/4 adverse reactions were thrombocytopenia (28%), neutropenia (28%), elevated lipase (15%), and hyperglycemia (11%). In accelerated phase patients, the most commonly reported adverse reactions (>10%) were rash (28%), pruritus (20%), and constipation (18%). The most common (>10%) Grade 3/4 adverse reactions were thrombocytopenia (37%), neutropenia (37%), anemia (23%), and elevated lipase (17%). Other serious adverse reactions included pneumonia, febrile neutropenia, leukopenia, intracranial hemorrhage, and pyrexia (Grade 3/4: 2%).
Dose adjustments or modifications
Tasigna may need to be temporarily withheld and/or dose reduced for QT prolongation, hematological toxicities that are not related to underlying leukemia, clinically significant moderate or severe nonhematologic toxicities, laboratory abnormalities, or concomitant use of strong CYP3A4 inhibitors. With concomitant use of strong CYP3A4 inducers, the dose of Tasigna may need to be increased, depending on patient tolerability.
For Grade 3 to 4 lipase elevations, dosing should be withheld, and may be resumed at 400 mg once daily. For Grade 3 to 4 bilirubin elevations, dosing should be withheld, and may be resumed at 400 mg once daily.
If possible, consider alternative therapies. If Tasigna must be administered to patients with hepatic impairment, a lower starting dose is recommended in patients with hepatic impairment and QT interval should be monitored. The following dose reduction should be considered:
For patients with mild (Child-Pugh Class A) or moderate (Child-Pugh Class B) hepatic impairment, an initial dosing regimen of 400 mg in the morning and 200 mg in the evening (12 hours apart) per day followed by dose escalation to 400 mg twice daily based on patient tolerability should be considered. For patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C), a starting dose of 200 mg twice daily followed by a sequential dose escalation to 400 mg in the morning and 200 mg in the evening (12 hours apart) per day and then to 400 mg twice daily based on patient tolerability should be considered.
Other patients in whom Tasigna should be used with caution
Tasigna should not be used during pregnancy. Sexually active female patients should use effective contraception during treatment. Women should not breast feed while taking Tasigna. The safety and effectiveness of Tasigna in pediatric patients have not been established.
ZOMETA is a treatment for hypercalcemia of malignancy (HCM; a condition resulting in high calcium blood levels due to cancer). ZOMETA is also used to reduce and delay bone complications due to multiple myeloma and bone metastases from solid tumors; used with anti-cancer medicines. ZOMETA is not an anti-cancer therapy. If you have prostate cancer, you should have failed treatment with at least one hormonal therapy prior to taking ZOMETA.
Important Safety Information
Do not use ZOMETA if you have had a severe allergic reaction to zoledronic acid or any components of ZOMETA. These reactions, including rare cases of hives and angioedema (swelling often near your eyes and lips), and very rare cases of life-threatening allergic reactions, have been reported. ZOMETA is in a class of drugs called bisphosphonates, and contains the same active ingredient as that found in Reclast® (zoledronic acid). If you are treated with ZOMETA, you should not be treated with Reclast.
If you have HCM, you should drink plenty of clear fluids before using ZOMETA. If you have kidney problems, tell your doctor. The risk of adverse reactions (especially related to the kidney) may be greater for you. ZOMETA treatment is not for patients with severe kidney problems. Patients with kidney problems on multiple cycles of ZOMETA or other bisphosphonates are at greater risk for further kidney problems. It is important to get your blood tests while you are receiving ZOMETA. Your doctor will monitor your kidney function before each dose. Tell your doctor if you are on other drugs, including aminoglycosides, loop diuretics, and drugs which may be harmful to the kidney.
Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) has been reported mainly in cancer patients treated with intravenous bisphosphonates, including ZOMETA. Many of these patients were also receiving anti-cancer drugs and corticosteroids, which may make it more likely to get ONJ. If you have advanced breast cancer or a type of cancer called multiple myeloma, or if you have had dental extraction, periodontal disease, local trauma, including poorly fitting dentures, you may be at greater risk of getting ONJ. Many reports of ONJ involved patients with signs of local infection, including bone/bone marrow inflammation. You should maintain good oral hygiene and have a dental examination with preventive dentistry prior to beginning ZOMETA. While on treatment, avoid invasive dental procedures, if possible, as recovery may take longer. If you develop ONJ while on bisphosphonate therapy, dental surgery may worsen the condition. If you require dental procedures, there are no data available to suggest whether stopping ZOMETA treatment reduces the risk of ONJ. A causal relationship between bisphosphonate use and ONJ has not been established. Based on your condition, your doctor will determine the treatment plan you will receive.
Do not use ZOMETA if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you are breast-feeding.
Severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain has been reported in patients taking bisphosphonates, including ZOMETA. Do not continue using ZOMETA if severe symptoms develop, as some patients had the symptoms reappear after taking ZOMETA or another bisphosphonate again. In aspirin sensitive patients, bronchoconstriction (tightening of the airways in the lungs) has been observed while taking bisphosphonates.
If you are an HCM patient with liver problems, talk to your doctor about whether ZOMETA is appropriate for you.
HCM patients may experience flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, flushing, bone pain and/or joint or muscle pain). Common side effects in HCM patients include fever, nausea, constipation, anemia, shortness of breath, diarrhea, abdominal pain, worsening of cancer, insomnia, vomiting, anxiety, urinary tract infection, low phosphate levels, confusion, agitation, a fungal infection called moniliasis, low potassium levels, coughing, skeletal pain, low blood pressure, and low magnesium levels. Redness and swelling may occur at the site that you are injected.
Common side effects for patients with multiple myeloma and bone metastases due to solid tumors include bone pain, nausea, fatigue, anemia, fever, vomiting, constipation, shortness of breath, diarrhea, weakness, muscle pain, anorexia, cough, joint pain, lower-limb swelling, worsening of your cancer, headache, dizziness (excluding vertigo), insomnia, decreased weight, back pain, numbness/tingling, and abdominal pain.
Eye-related side effects may occur with bisphosphonates, including ZOMETA. Cases of swelling related to fluid build-up in the eye, as well as inflammation of the uvea, sclera, episclera, conjunctiva, and iris of the eye have been reported.
Patients with multiple myeloma and bone metastases from solid tumors should be taking an oral calcium supplement of 500 mg and a multiple vitamin containing 400 IU of vitamin D daily.
Please see full Prescribing Information and talk to your doctor for more information.
In the US, everolimus is approved under the trade name Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets for the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) after failure of treatment with sunitinib or sorafenib. In the European Union (EU), Afinitor is approved for the treatment of patients with advanced RCC whose disease has progressed on or after treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy.
In the US, everolimus is available in different dosage strengths under the trade name Zortress® for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in adult patients at low-moderate immunologic risk receiving a kidney transplant. In the EU, everolimus is available in different dosage strengths under the trade name Certican® for the prevention of organ rejection in heart and kidney transplant recipients.
As an investigational compound, the safety and efficacy profile of everolimus has not yet been established in cancer and tumor types outside of the approved advanced renal cell carcinoma indication. Access to everolimus for cancer and tumor types is available through carefully controlled and monitored clinical trials. These trials are designed to better understand the potential benefits and risks of the compound. Because of the uncertainty of clinical trials, there is no guarantee that everolimus will become commercially available for cancer and tumor types anywhere in the world.
Afinitor (everolimus) tablets important safety information
Afinitor is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to everolimus, to other rapamycin derivatives or to any of the excipients. Potentially serious adverse reactions to Afinitor include non-infectious pneumonitis and infections, for which patients should be monitored carefully and treated as needed. In addition, non-infectious pneumonitis may require temporary dose reduction and/or interruption or discontinuation. Patients with systemic invasive fungal infections should not receive Afinitor. Oral ulceration is a common side effect of Afinitor. Renal function, blood glucose, lipids and hematological parameters should be evaluated prior to the start of therapy with Afinitor and periodically thereafter. Strong or moderate CYP3A4 or P-glycoprotein inhibitors should be avoided. An increase in the dose of Afinitor is recommended when co-administered with a strong CYP3A4 inducer. Live vaccinations and close contact with those who have received live vaccines should be avoided by patients taking Afinitor. Afinitor should not be used in patients with severe hepatic impairment. Afinitor may cause fetal harm in pregnant women.
The most common adverse reactions, irrespective of causality (incidence greater than or equal to 30%), were stomatitis (44%), infections (37%), asthenia (33%), fatigue (31%), cough (30%) and diarrhea (30%). The most common grade 3/4 adverse reactions, irrespective of causality (incidence greater than or equal to 3%), were infections (9%), dyspnea (8%), fatigue (5%), stomatitis (4%), dehydration (4%), pneumonitis (4%), abdominal pain (3%) and asthenia (3%). The most common laboratory abnormalities (incidence greater than or equal to 50%) were anemia (92%), hypercholesterolemia (77%), hypertriglyceridemia (73%), hyperglycemia (57%), lymphopenia (51%) and increased creatinine (50%). The most common grade 3/4 laboratory abnormalities (incidence greater than or equal to 3%) were lymphopenia (18%), hyperglycemia (16%), anemia (13%), hypophosphatemia (6%) and hypercholesterolemia (4%). Deaths due to acute respiratory failure (0.7%), infection (0.7%) and acute renal failure (0.4%) were observed in patients receiving Afinitor.
The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "promise," "pipeline," "will," "dedication," "commitment," "potential," or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential new indications or labeling, or potential marketing approvals for the products described in this release, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that any of the products or additional indications or labeling described in this release will be submitted for approval or approved for sale in any market. Nor can there be any guarantee that any of these products or indications will achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding these products and indications could be affected by, among other things, unexpected clinical trial results, including unexpected new clinical data and unexpected additional analysis of existing clinical data; unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the company's ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the impact that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the Novartis Group's assets and liabilities as recorded in the Group's consolidated balance sheet, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Located in East Hanover, New Jersey, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2009, the Group's continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 44.3 billion, while approximately USD 7.5 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 100,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.us.novartis.com.
-- Abstract #6501: 18-month (median follow-up) study results with Tasigna in adult patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in chronic phase (2). -- Abstract #8021: Results from a large, Phase III study evaluating the addition of Zometa to chemotherapy versus oral clodronate plus chemotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (3). -- Abstract #2004: Findings on everolimus in patients with subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) associated with tuberous sclerosis (TS), a genetic disorder which causes tumors to form in many vital organs, including the brain (4,5). There are currently no FDA-approved treatments, although invasive brain surgery can be used to remove tumors (4). -- Two oral presentations will highlight panobinostat (LBH589) in Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Interim results from a Phase II study (abstract #8007) of panobinostat in heavily pre-treated patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma and updated data from a Phase Ib study (abstract #8001) of oral panobinostat in combination with bortezomib in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma will be presented (6,7). Also, Novartis will present PANORAMA-2, a new Phase II study (abstract #TPS308) on panobinostat in bortezomib-refractory multiple myeloma patients (8).
SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
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