Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical Enter Into a Clinical Collaboration Agreement to Investigate Stivarga® (regorafenib) and Opdivo® (nivolumab) as Combination Therapy in Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

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Combination of regorafenib and nivolumab vs. regorafenib alone to be evaluated in patients with micro-satellite stable metastatic colorectal cancer Companies plan indication-seeking trial   WHIPPANY, N.J. & PRINCETON, N.J. & OSAKA, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Ono”) announced today the three companies have entered into a clinical collaboration agreement to evaluate the combination of Bayer’s kinase inhibitor Stivarga® (regorafenib) and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s / Ono’s anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, Opdivo® (nivolumab) in patients with micro-satellite stable metastatic colorectal cancer (MSS mCRC), the most common form of mCRC.1 Regorafenib as monotherapy has demonstrated an overall survival benefit versus placebo in the pivotal Phase III CORRECT study and has shown activity irrespective of micro-satellite status in a retrospective analysis from this study, though with limited responses observed.2,3 Despite progress in the treatment of CRC, including the advance of effective immuno-oncology (I-O) treatments for certain subsets of CRC, around 95% of mCRC patients have MSS tumors, for which I-O monotherapy treatment approaches have shown limited activity.4 Thus, the need for additional treatment options including combination approaches remains high.4 Encouraging early data have been seen with the combination of regorafenib and nivolumab. In a Phase 1b investigator sponsored trial from Japan called REGONIVO (NCT03406871, EPOC1603), the combination of regorafenib and nivolumab has shown promising preliminary efficacy results.1 The detailed data of the study were presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. “The data seen in REGONIVO warrant further exploration of the combination of regorafenib and nivolumab in patients with colorectal cancer. Regorafenib has proven its efficacy and positive safety profile as a third-line monotherapy and we are excited to enter into a clinical collaboration to evaluate this combination with the hope to deliver an additional therapeutic benefit to patients,” said Scott Z. Fields, M.D., senior vice president and head of Oncology Development at Bayer's Pharmaceuticals Division. “We continue to invest in innovative approaches to maximize the potential of our pipeline, and interrogate new combinations to help more patients with cancers typically not responsive to I-O therapy,” said Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of development, oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are looking forward to a strong collaboration to investigate nivolumab with regorafenib, with the goal of serving more patients who have cancer.” "We have been actively engaged in the development of nivolumab including combination therapies with other agents. We are excited to initiate the clinical collaboration with Bayer and Bristol-Myers Squibb to investigate this combination therapy as a new treatment option for patients with colorectal cancer and other types of cancer," said Kiyoaki Idemitsu, Corporate Officer, Executive Director, Clinical Development, Ono. Further terms of the clinical collaboration were not disclosed. About Colorectal Cancer5 Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. In the U.S., it is currently the third most common cancer diagnosed and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths when estimates for men and women are combined. In 2019, an estimated 145,600 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. General estimates predict that 1 in 23 will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. About Stivarga® (regorafenib)6 In April 2017, Stivarga was approved for use in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who have been previously treated with Nexavar® (sorafenib). In the United States, Stivarga is also indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) who have been previously treated with fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based chemotherapy, an anti-VEGF therapy, and, if RAS wild-type, an anti-EGFR therapy. It is also indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) who have been previously treated with imatinib mesylate and sunitinib malate. Regorafenib is a compound developed by Bayer. In 2011, Bayer entered into an agreement with Onyx, now an Amgen subsidiary, under which Onyx receives a royalty on all global net sales of regorafenib in oncology. Important Safety Information for Stivarga6   WARNING: HEPATOTOXICITY • Severe and sometimes fatal hepatotoxicity has occurred in clinical trials. • Monitor hepatic function prior to and during treatment. • Interrupt and then reduce or discontinue STIVARGA for hepatotoxicity as manifested by elevated liver function tests or hepatocellular necrosis, depending upon severity and persistence. Hepatotoxicity: Severe drug-induced liver injury with fatal outcome occurred in STIVARGA-treated patients across all clinical trials. In most cases, liver dysfunction occurred within the first 2 months of therapy and was characterized by a hepatocellular pattern of injury. In metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), fatal hepatic failure occurred in 1.6% of patients in the STIVARGA arm and in 0.4% of patients in the placebo arm. In gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), fatal hepatic failure occurred in 0.8% of patients in the STIVARGA arm. In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), there was no increase in the incidence of fatal hepatic failure as compared to placebo. Liver Function Monitoring: Obtain liver function tests (ALT, AST, and bilirubin) before initiation of STIVARGA and monitor at least every 2 weeks during the first 2 months of treatment. Thereafter, monitor monthly or more frequently as clinically indicated. Monitor liver function tests weekly in patients experiencing elevated liver function tests until improvement to less than 3 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) or baseline values. Temporarily hold and then reduce or permanently discontinue STIVARGA, depending on the severity and persistence of hepatotoxicity as manifested by elevated liver function tests or hepatocellular necrosis. Infections: STIVARGA caused an increased risk of infections. The overall incidence of infection (Grades 1-5) was higher (32% vs 17%) in 1142 STIVARGA-treated patients as compared to the control arm in randomized placebo-controlled trials. The incidence of grade 3 or greater infections in STIVARGA treated patients was 9%. The most common infections were urinary tract infections (5.7%), nasopharyngitis (4.0%), mucocutaneous and systemic fungal infections (3.3%) and pneumonia (2.6%). Fatal outcomes caused by infection occurred more often in patients treated with STIVARGA (1.0%) as compared to patients receiving placebo (0.3%); the most common fatal infections were respiratory (0.6% vs 0.2%). Withhold STIVARGA for Grade 3 or 4 infections, or worsening infection of any grade. Resume STIVARGA at the same dose following resolution of infection. Hemorrhage: STIVARGA caused an increased incidence of hemorrhage. The overall incidence (Grades 1-5) was 18.2% in 1142 patients treated with STIVARGA vs 9.5% with placebo in randomized, placebo-controlled trials. The incidence of grade 3 or greater hemorrhage in patients treated with STIVARGA was 3.0%. The incidence of fatal hemorrhagic events was 0.7%, involving the central nervous system or the respiratory, gastrointestinal, or genitourinary tracts. Permanently discontinue STIVARGA in patients with severe or life-threatening hemorrhage and monitor INR levels more frequently in patients receiving warfarin. Gastrointestinal Perforation or Fistula: Gastrointestinal perforation occurred in 0.6% of 4518 patients treated with STIVARGA across all clinical trials of STIVARGA administered as a single agent; this included eight fatal events. Gastrointestinal fistula occurred in 0.8% of patients treated with STIVARGA and in 0.2% of patients in the placebo arm across randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Permanently discontinue STIVARGA in patients who develop gastrointestinal perforation or fistula. Dermatological Toxicity: In randomized, placebo-controlled trials, adverse skin reactions occurred in 71.9% of patients with STIVARGA arm and 25.5% of patients in the placebo arm including hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR) also known as palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (PPES) and severe rash, requiring dose modification. In the randomized, placebo-controlled trials, the overall incidence of HFSR was higher in 1142 STIVARGA-treated patients (53% vs 8%) than in the placebo-treated patients. Most cases of HFSR in STIVARGA-treated patients appeared during the first cycle of treatment. The incidences of Grade 3 HFSR (16% vs 3 and up to 5 times ULN at baseline and increases to >8 and up to 10 times the ULN. Permanently discontinue OPDIVO and administer corticosteroids if AST or ALT increases to >10 times the ULN or total bilirubin increases >3 times the ULN. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 1.8% (35/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg, immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 13% (51/407) of patients. In RCC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 7% (38/547) of patients. In MSI-H/dMMR mCRC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 8% (10/119) of patients. In Checkmate 040, immune-mediated hepatitis requiring systemic corticosteroids occurred in 5% (8/154) of patients receiving OPDIVO. In a separate Phase 3 study of YERVOY 3 mg/kg, severe, life-threatening, or fatal hepatotoxicity (AST or ALT elevations >5x the ULN or total bilirubin elevations >3x the ULN; Grade 3-5) occurred in 8 (2%) patients, with fatal hepatic failure in 0.2% and hospitalization in 0.4%. Immune-Mediated Neuropathies In a separate Phase 3 study of YERVOY 3 mg/kg, 1 case of fatal Guillain-Barré syndrome and 1 case of severe (Grade 3) peripheral motor neuropathy were reported. Immune-Mediated Endocrinopathies OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated hypophysitis, immune-mediated adrenal insufficiency, autoimmune thyroid disorders, and Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of hypophysitis, signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, thyroid function prior to and periodically during treatment, and hyperglycemia. Administer hormone replacement as clinically indicated and corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater hypophysitis. Withhold for Grade 2 or 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 hypophysitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 3 or 4 adrenal insufficiency. Withhold for Grade 2 and permanently discontinue for Grade 3 or 4 adrenal insufficiency. Administer hormone-replacement therapy for hypothyroidism. Initiate medical management for control of hyperthyroidism. Withhold OPDIVO for Grade 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 hyperglycemia. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, hypophysitis occurred in 0.6% (12/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg, hypophysitis occurred in 9% (36/407) of patients. In RCC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, hypophysitis occurred in 4.6% (25/547) of patients. In MSI-H/dMMR mCRC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, immune-mediated hypophysitis occurred in 3.4% (4/119) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, adrenal insufficiency occurred in 1% (20/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg, adrenal insufficiency occurred in 5% (21/407) of patients. In RCC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, adrenal insufficiency occurred in 7% (41/547) of patients. In MSI-H/dMMR mCRC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, adrenal insufficiency occurred in 5.9% (7/119) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, hypothyroidism or thyroiditis resulting in hypothyroidism occurred in 9% (171/1994) of patients. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 2.7% (54/1994) of patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy. In patients receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg, hypothyroidism or thyroiditis resulting in hypothyroidism occurred in 22% (89/407) of patients. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 8% (34/407) of patients receiving this dose of OPDIVO with YERVOY. In RCC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, hypothyroidism or thyroiditis resulting in hypothyroidism occurred in 22% (119/547) of patients. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 12% (66/547) of patients receiving this dose of OPDIVO with YERVOY. In MSI-H/dMMR mCRC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, hypothyroidism or thyroiditis resulting in hypothyroidism occurred in 15% (18/119) of patients. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 12% (14/119) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, diabetes occurred in 0.9% (17/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg, diabetes occurred in 1.5% (6/407) of patients. In RCC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, diabetes occurred in 2.7% (15/547) of patients. In a separate Phase 3 study of YERVOY 3 mg/kg, severe to life-threatening immune-mediated endocrinopathies (requiring hospitalization, urgent medical intervention, or interfering with activities of daily living; Grade 3-4) occurred in 9 (1.8%) patients. All 9 patients had hypopituitarism, and some had additional concomitant endocrinopathies such as adrenal insufficiency, hypogonadism, and hypothyroidism. Six of the 9 patients were hospitalized for severe endocrinopathies. Immune-Mediated Nephritis and Renal Dysfunction OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Monitor patients for elevated serum creatinine prior to and periodically during treatment. Administer corticosteroids for Grades 2-4 increased serum creatinine. Withhold OPDIVO for Grade 2 or 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 increased serum creatinine. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, immune-mediated nephritis and renal dysfunction occurred in 1.2% (23/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg, immune-mediated nephritis and renal dysfunction occurred in 2.2% (9/407) of patients. In RCC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, immune-mediated nephritis and renal dysfunction occurred in 4.6% (25/547) of patients. In MSI-H/dMMR mCRC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, immune-mediated nephritis and renal dysfunction occurred in 1.7% (2/119) of patients. Immune-Mediated Skin Adverse Reactions and Dermatitis OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated rash, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), some cases with fatal outcome. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 3 or 4 rash. Withhold for Grade 3 and permanently discontinue for Grade 4 rash. For symptoms or signs of SJS or TEN, withhold OPDIVO and refer the patient for specialized care for assessment and treatment; if confirmed, permanently discontinue. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, immune-mediated rash occurred in 9% (171/1994) of patients. In patients receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg, immune-mediated rash occurred in 22.6% (92/407) of patients. In RCC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, immune-mediated rash occurred in 16.6% (91/547) of patients. In MSI-H/dMMR mCRC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg, immune-mediated rash occurred in 14% (17/119) of patients. In a separate Phase 3 study of YERVOY 3 mg/kg, severe, life-threatening, or fatal immune-mediated dermatitis (eg, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, or rash complicated by full thickness dermal ulceration, or necrotic, bullous, or hemorrhagic manifestations; Grade 3-5) occurred in 13 (2.5%) patients. 1 (0.2%) patient died as a result of toxic epidermal necrolysis. 1 additional patient required hospitalization for severe dermatitis. Immune-Mediated Encephalitis OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated encephalitis. Evaluation of patients with neurologic symptoms may include, but not be limited to, consultation with a neurologist, brain MRI, and lumbar puncture. Withhold OPDIVO in patients with new-onset moderate to severe neurologic signs or symptoms and evaluate to rule out other causes. If other etiologies are ruled out, administer corticosteroids and permanently discontinue OPDIVO for immune-mediated encephalitis. In patients receiving OPDIVO monotherapy, encephalitis occurred in 0.2% (3/1994) of patients. Fatal limbic encephalitis occurred in one patient after 7.2 months of exposure despite discontinuation of OPDIVO and administration of corticosteroids. Encephalitis occurred in one patient receiving OPDIVO 1 mg/kg with YERVOY 3 mg/kg (0.2%) after 1.7 months of exposure. Encephalitis occurred in one RCC patient receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg (0.2%) after approximately 4 months of exposure. Encephalitis occurred in one MSI-H/dMMR mCRC patient (0.8%) receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg with YERVOY 1 mg/kg after 15 days of exposure. Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions Based on the severity of the adverse reaction, permanently discontinue or withhold OPDIVO, administer high-dose corticosteroids, and, if appropriate, initiate hormone-replacement therapy. Across clinical trials of OPDIVO monotherapy or in combination with YERVOY, the following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions, some with fatal outcome, occurred in

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