New Drug Application Submitted to U.S. FDA for Ibrutinib in the Treatment of Two B-Cell Malignancies
If approved, ibrutinib will address a high unmet need in relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia and relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma
RARITAN, N.J., July 10, 2013
Janssen Research & Development, LLC announced the submission of a New Drug Application for ibrutinib to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its use in the treatment of previously treated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), and for its use in the treatment of previously treated patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). The regulatory submission for ibrutinib is supported by data from two pivotal Phase 2 studies, one in relapsed/refractory CLL/SLL (PCYC-1102) and one in relapsed/refractory MCL (PCYC-1104), both of which were published in The New England Journal of Medicine online on June 19, 2013. Ibrutinib is a novel Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor being jointly developed by Janssen and Pharmacyclics, Inc. for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.
If approved, ibrutinib would be the first in a class of oral BTK inhibitors and is one of the first medicines to file for FDA approval via the new Breakthrough Therapy Designation pathway. Ibrutinib will be co-commercialized in the U.S. by Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Pharmacyclics.
“The FDA submission is another important milestone for ibrutinib since we formed our strategic partnership with Pharmacyclics just 18 months ago,” said Peter F. Lebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Global Oncology Head, Janssen. “Both companies recognize that there is great unmet need among these patient populations, and together in close collaboration with the FDA, as part of its Breakthrough Therapy Designation pathway, we have been able to accelerate the ibrutinib development program for the benefit of patients.”
About Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is a slow-growing blood cancer that starts in the white blood cells (lymphocytes), most commonly from B-cells. CLL is the second most common adult leukemia. Approximately 16,000 patients in the US are diagnosed each year with CLL. The prevalence of CLL is approximately 113,000 in the US. The disease is a chronic disease of the elderly with an average survival of about 5 years. Patients commonly receive multiple lines of treatment over the course of their disease.
In CLL the genetic mutation 17p deletion occurs when the short arm of chromosome 17 is missing. Del 17p is associated with abnormalities of a key tumor suppressor gene, TP53, which results in poor response to chemoimmunotherapy and worse treatment outcomes. It occurs in about 7% of treatment naive CLL patients and is estimated to be approximately 20% to 40% of relapsed or refractory patients harboring the mutation.
Ibrutinib , previously publicly known as PCI-32765, is an experimental drug candidate for the treatment of various types of cancer. It was first synthesized at Celera Genomics as a selective inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk).It was later discovered to have anti-lymphoma properties in vivo by scientists at Pharmacyclics, Inc.Ibrutinib is currently under development by Pharmacyclics, Inc and Johnson & Johnson‘sJanssen Pharmaceutical division for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma,diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. It also has potential effects against autoimmune arthritis.
Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Pharmacyclics entered a collaboration and license agreement in December 2011 to co-develop and co-commercialize ibrutinib. Ibrutinib was designed to specifically target and selectively inhibit an enzyme called Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). BTK is a key mediator of at least three critical B-cell pro-survival mechanisms occurring in parallel – regulation of apoptosis, adhesion, and cell migration and homing. Through these multiple signals, BTK regulation helps to direct malignant B-cells to lymphoid tissues, thus allowing access to a micro environment necessary for survival.
The effectiveness of ibrutinib alone or in combination with other treatments is being studied in several B-cell malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia and multiple myeloma. To date five Phase III trials have been initiated with ibrutinib and a total of 26 trials are currently registered on www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Pharmacyclics® is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer and immune mediated diseases. Our mission and goal is to build a viable biopharmaceutical company that designs, develops and commercializes novel therapies intended to improve quality of life, increase duration of life and resolve serious unmet medical healthcare needs; and to identify promising product candidates based on scientific development and administrational expertise, develop our products in a rapid, cost-efficient manner and pursue commercialization and/or development partners when and where appropriate.
Presently, Pharmacyclics has three product candidates in clinical development and several preclinical molecules in lead optimization. The Company is committed to high standards of ethics, scientific rigor, and operational efficiency as it moves each of these programs to viable commercialization.
The Company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California and is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol PCYC. To learn more about how Pharmacyclics advances science to improve human healthcare visit at http://www.pharmacyclics.com.