FDA approves Roche’s Columvi, the first and only bispecific antibody with a fixed-duration treatment for people with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

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  • Pivotal study showed durable responses, with a 56% overall response rate, a 43% complete response (remission) rate and a median duration of response of 1.5 years (18.4 months)1
  • Given over a fixed period of time, Columvi provides patients with a treatment end date and potential time off treatment
  • Columvi is part of Roche’s industry-leading portfolio of T-cell engaging bispecific antibodies in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which also includes the recently approved Lunsumio to treat follicular lymphoma

Basel, 16 June 2023 – Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Columvi® (glofitamab-gxbm) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified or large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) arising from follicular lymphoma, after two or more lines of systemic therapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on response rate and durability of response in the phase I/II NP30179 study. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial. Columvi will be available in the US in the coming weeks. 

“People with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who have gone through multiple lines of therapy have a poor prognosis and desperately need additional treatment options,” said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., Roche’s Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development. “As an off-the-shelf, fixed-duration treatment providing durable response rates, we believe Columvi could change the way this aggressive lymphoma is treated, reinforcing our dedication to bringing innovative treatment options to people with critical unmet needs.”

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DLBCL is an aggressive, hard-to-treat disease and is the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the US.2 While many people with DLBCL are responsive to treatment, the majority of those who relapse or are refractory to subsequent treatments have poor outcomes.3,4

“Patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma may experience rapid progression of their cancer and often urgently need an effective treatment option that can be administered without delay,” said Krish Patel, M.D., Director of the Lymphoma Program at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle and investigator of the Columvi phase I/II NP30179 study. “Experience from clinical trials demonstrates that Columvi can provide patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma a chance for complete remission with a fixed duration immunotherapy and that such remissions can potentially be sustained after the end of their treatment.”  

The FDA accelerated approval is based on positive results from the phase I/II NP30179 study of Columvi given as a fixed course for 8.5 months in 132 patients with DLBCL who had relapsed or were refractory to prior therapies, including about one-third (30%) who had received prior CAR T-cell therapy. Additionally, 83% were refractory to their most recent therapy. Results showed patients treated with fixed-duration Columvi achieved durable remission, with 56% of patients achieving an overall response (OR; 74/132 [95% confidence interval (CI): 47-65]) and 43% of patients achieving a complete response (CR; 57/132 [95% CI: 35-52]). Over two-thirds of those who responded continued to respond for at least nine months (68.5% [95% CI: 56.7-80.3]). The OR rate is the combination of CR rate (a disappearance of all signs and symptoms of cancer) and partial response rate (a decrease in the amount of cancer in the body). The median duration of response was 1.5 years (18.4 months [95% CI: 11.4-not estimable]).1 Data from the NP30179 study were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine

Among 145 patients who received Columvi in the study, the most common adverse events (AEs) were cytokine release syndrome (CRS; 70%), which may be serious or life-threatening, musculoskeletal pain (21%), fatigue (20%) and rash (20%). CRS was generally low grade (52% experienced Grade 1, and 14% experienced Grade 2). 1 

Columvi is the first and only CD20xCD3 T-cell engaging bispecific antibody for the treatment of R/R DLBCL that is given for a defined period of time, unlike treat-to-progression approaches where treatment is given indefinitely until the cancer progresses or the therapy cannot be tolerated, whichever occurs first. Designed to be completed in approximately 8.5 months, Columvi offers people with R/R DLBCL a target end date for their course of treatment and the possibility of a treatment-free period. Additionally, Columvi is a chemotherapy-free treatment option that is off-the-shelf and ready for infusion.

Columvi is part of Roche’s broad and industry-leading CD20xCD3 T-cell-engaging bispecific antibody clinical development programme. This includes the phase III STARGLO study evaluating Columvi in combination with gemcitabine and oxaliplatin (GemOx) versus MabThera®/Rituxan® (rituximab) in combination with GemOx in patients with DLBCL who have been treated with one or more previous therapies and are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant. Roche’s haematology bispecific antibody portfolio also includes Lunsumio® (mosunetuzumab), which was granted accelerated approval by the FDA in December 2022 for the treatment of adult patients with R/R follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy. Roche is exploring the potential of both Columvi and Lunsumio as monotherapies and in combination with other therapies, including Polivy® (polatuzumab vedotin), in earlier lines of treatment with the goal of providing patients with long-lasting outcomes. This robust development programme includes two phase III studies: CELESTIMO, investigating Lunsumio plus lenalidomide in second line plus (2L+) FL, and SUNMO, investigating Lunsumio plus Polivy in 2L+ DLBCL. Columvi received its first worldwide approval in Canada, and the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recently granted a positive opinion recommending its approval.

About Columvi® (glofitamab-gxbm)
Columvi is a CD20xCD3 T-cell-engaging bispecific antibody designed to target CD3 on the surface of T-cells and CD20 on the surface of B-cells. Columvi was designed with a novel 2:1 structural format. This T-cell-engaging bispecific antibody is engineered to have one region that binds to CD3, a protein on T-cells, a type of immune cell, and two regions that bind to CD20, a protein on B-cells, which can be healthy or malignant. This dual-targeting brings the T-cell in close proximity to the B-cell, activating the release of cancer cell-killing proteins from the T-cell. A clinical development programme for Columvi is ongoing, investigating the molecule as a monotherapy and in combination with other medicines for the treatment of people with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and other blood cancers.

About the NP30179 study
The NP30179 study [NCT03075696] is a phase I/II, multicentre, open-label, dose-escalation and expansion study evaluating the safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics of Columvi® (glofitamab-gxbm) in people with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Outcome measures include complete response rate by an independent review committee (primary endpoint), overall response rate, duration of response, progression-free survival, safety, and tolerability (secondary endpoints).

About diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
DLBCL is the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), accounting for about one in three cases of NHL.2 DLBCL is an aggressive (fast-growing) type of NHL.2 While it is generally responsive to treatment in the frontline, as many as 40% of people will relapse or have refractory disease, at which time salvage therapy options are limited and survival is short.3,4 Improving treatments earlier in the course of the disease and providing needed alternative options could help to improve long-term outcomes. Approximately 160,000 people worldwide are estimated to be diagnosed with DLBCL each year.5

About Roche in haematology
Roche has been developing medicines for people with malignant and non-malignant blood diseases for more than 20 years; our experience and knowledge in this therapeutic area runs deep. Today, we are investing more than ever in our effort to bring innovative treatment options to patients across a wide range of haematologic diseases. Our approved medicines include MabThera®/Rituxan® (rituximab), Gazyva®/Gazyvaro® (obinutuzumab), Polivy® (polatuzumab vedotin), Venclexta®/Venclyxto® (venetoclax) in collaboration with AbbVie, Hemlibra® (emicizumab), Lunsumio® (mosunetuzumab) and Columvi® (glofitamab). Our pipeline of investigational haematology medicines includes a T-cell-engaging bispecific antibody cevostamab, targeting both FcRH5 and CD3; Tecentriq® (atezolizumab), a monoclonal antibody designed to bind with PD-L1 and crovalimab, an anti-C5 antibody engineered to optimise complement inhibition. Our scientific expertise, combined with the breadth of our portfolio and pipeline, also provides a unique opportunity to develop combination regimens that aim to improve the lives of patients even further.

About Roche
Founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland, as one of the first industrial manufacturers of branded medicines, Roche has grown into the world’s largest biotechnology company and the global leader in in-vitro diagnostics. The company pursues scientific excellence to discover and develop medicines and diagnostics for improving and saving the lives of people around the world. We are a pioneer in personalised healthcare and want to further transform how healthcare is delivered to have an even greater impact. To provide the best care for each person we partner with many stakeholders and combine our strengths in Diagnostics and Pharma with data insights from the clinical practice.

In recognising our endeavour to pursue a long-term perspective in all we do, Roche has been named one of the most sustainable companies in the pharmaceuticals industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the thirteenth consecutive year. This distinction also reflects our efforts to improve access to healthcare together with local partners in every country we work.

Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.

For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

References
[1] Roche data on file.
[2] Cancer.Net. Lymphoma – Non-Hodgkin: Subtypes. [Internet; cited June 2023]. Available from: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/lymphoma-non-hodgkin/subtypes.
[3] Maurer MJ et al. Event-free survival at 24 months is a robust end point for disease-related outcome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with immunochemotherapy. J Clin Oncol. 2014;32:1066-73.
[4] Sehn LH, Gascoyne RD. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: optimizing outcome in the context of clinical and biologic heterogeneity. Blood. 2015;125(1):22-32.
[5] Calculation for Worldwide incidence: World Health Organization. GLOBOCAN 2020, Cancer Incidence and Mortality: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet; cited June 2023]. Available from:
https://gco.iarc.fr/today/online-analysis-table?v=2020&mode=cancer&mode_population=continents&population=900&populations=908&key=asr&sex=0&cancer=39&type=0&statistic=5&prevalence=0&population_group=0&ages_group%5B%5D=0&ages_group%5B%5D=17&group_cancer=1&include_nmsc=1&include_nmsc_other=1#collapse-group-1-4-0.

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