Oncology News Burst from FDA: Avelumab

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

From the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer

In cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and as a service to our members, SITC will periodically distribute information about newly approved therapies for cancer patients. This helps FDA inform oncologists and professionals in oncology-related fields of recent approvals in a timely manner. Included in the email from the FDA will be a link to the product label, which will provide the relevant clinical information on the indication, contraindications, dosing, and safety. In sending this information, SITC does not endorse any product or therapy and does not take any position on the safety or efficacy of the product or therapy described. The following is a message from the Director of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence, Dr. Richard Pazdur:

On May 9, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to avelumab (BAVENCIO®, EMD Serono, Inc.) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma whose disease progressed during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant platinum-containing chemotherapy.

Approval was based on data from an open-label, single arm, multi-center study that enrolled 242 patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma whose disease progressed on or after platinum-based therapy or within 12 months of a platinum-containing neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy regimen. Patients received avelumab, 10 mg/kg intravenously, every 2 weeks until radiographic or clinical progression or unacceptable toxicity. All patients received pre-medication with an anti-histamine and acetaminophen prior to each avelumab administration. Confirmed overall response rate (ORR) in patients who had been followed for at least 13 weeks was 13.3% (n=30) (95% CI: 9.1, 18.4), and 16.1% (n=26) (95% CI: 10.8, 22.8) in patients who had been followed for at least 6 months. Median time to response was 2.0 months (range 1.3-11.0). The median response duration had not been reached in patients followed for at least 13 weeks or at least 6 months, but ranged from 1.4+ to 17.4+ months in both groups.

Deaths due to an adverse reaction occurred in 6% of patients. Serious adverse reactions were reported in 41% of patients. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in 2% or more of patients were urinary tract infection/urosepsis, abdominal pain, musculoskeletal pain, creatinine increased/renal failure, dehydration, hematuria/urinary tract hemorrhage, intestinal obstruction/small intestinal obstruction, and pyrexia. The most common adverse reactions that occurred in at least 20% of patients were fatigue, infusion-related reaction, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, decreased appetite, and urinary tract infection.

The recommended dose of avelumab is 10 mg/kg as an intravenous infusion over 60 minutes every 2 weeks. Pre-medicate with an anti-histamine and acetaminophen prior to the first four infusions of avelumab.

Full prescribing information is available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/761078s000lbl.pdf.

FDA granted this application priority review. FDA approved avelumab for this indication approximately 3 months ahead of the goal date. A description of FDA expedited programs is in the Guidance for Industry: Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions-Drugs and Biologics, available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/guidances/ucm358301.pdf.

Healthcare professionals should report all serious adverse events suspected to be associated with the use of any medicine and device to FDA’s MedWatch Reporting System by completing a form online at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm, by faxing (1-800-FDA-0178) or mailing the postage-paid address form provided online, or by telephone (1-800-FDA-1088).