Celgene Corporation
Sep 5, 2013
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Results from Phase III Study (MM-003) of Pomalidomide Plus Low-Dose Dexamethasone versus High-Dose Dexamethasone in Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma Patients Published in The Lancet Oncology

Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone demonstrated significantly longer median progression-free survival and overall survival at a median follow-up of 10 months

BOUDRY, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 5, 2013-- Celgene International Sàrl, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG), today announced that updated results from MM-003, a phase III multi-center, randomized open-label study (n=455) of pomalidomide (marketed as POMALYST® in the U.S. and IMNOVID® in the E.U.) plus low-dose dexamethasone, were published online ahead of print in The Lancet Oncology.

The study compared oral pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone with high-dose dexamethasone in patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have failed at least two prior therapies with both bortezomib and lenalidomide, administered alone or in combination.

At the interim analysis (ASH 2012, median follow-up 4.2 months), the study met its primary endpoint as pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone demonstrated a significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) (3.8 months vs 1.9 months HR 0.41 p<0.0001) compared with high-dose dexamethasone. There was also a significant improvement in the key secondary endpoint of overall survival (OS) (11.9 months vs 7.8 months HR 0.53 p<0.0002) compared with high-dose dexamethasone even though 45 patients in the high-dose dexamethasone arm crossed over and received pomalidomide.

Additionally, the Data Monitoring Committee recommended that patients who had not yet progressed in the high-dose dexamethasone arm should have access to pomalidomide with or without low-dose dexamethasone.

At a median follow-up of 10.0 months, an updated PFS analysis and final OS analysis were conducted. Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone continued to demonstrate significantly longer PFS, the primary endpoint, compared with high-dose dexamethasone (4.0 months vs. 1.9 months, HR=0.48, p<0.0001). Additionally, pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone demonstrated a significant improvement in OS compared with high-dose dexamethasone (12.7 months vs. 8.1 months, HR=0.74, p=0.0285). Overall response rate for patients receiving pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone was 31% compared with 10% for patients receiving high-dose dexamethasone (p<0.0001).

The most common grade 3-4 hematological adverse events in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and high-dose dexamethasone arms, respectively, were: neutropenia (48% 143/300 vs. 16% 24/150), anemia (33% 99/300 vs. 37% 55/150) and thrombocytopenia (22% 67/300 vs. 26% 39/150). Grade 3-4 non-hematological adverse events in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and high-dose dexamethasone arms, respectively, included: pneumonia (13% 38/300 vs. 8% 12/150), bone pain (7% 21/300 vs. 5% 7/150) and fatigue (5% 16/300 vs. 6% 9/150). Four patients in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone arm and one patient in the high-dose dexamethasone arm developed second primary malignancies. Of these, two patients in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone arm had invasive solid tumor cancers and two patients in this group and the one in the high-dose dexamethasone group had non-invasive cancers (basal-cell skin cancers). Treatment-related adverse events led to treatment discontinuation in 4% of patients in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone arm and 6% of patients in the high-dose dexamethasone arm.

Patients in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone arm received 4 mg of oral pomalidomide on days 1-21 of each 28-day cycle. Oral dexamethasone was given at 40 mg on days 1, 8, 15, and 22); for patients older than 75 years, dexamethasone was administered at 20 mg weekly.

Patients in the comparator arm were treated with 40 mg oral high-dose dexamethasone on days 1-4, 9-12 and 17-20 of each 28-day cycle, until disease progression; patients older than 75 years received 20 mg oral dexamethasone on the same schedule.

Results of the MM-003 trial formed the basis of an August 2013 approval by the European Medicines Agency in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies including both lenalidomide and bortezomib and have demonstrated disease progression on the last therapy.

For more information, visit http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/onlinefirst

Important Safety Information based on approved U.S. Label for Pomalyst (Trade name for Pomalidomide Celgene in the U.S.)


Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

  • POMALYST is contraindicated in pregnancy. POMALYST is a thalidomide analogue. Thalidomide is a known human teratogen that causes severe birth defects or embryo-fetal death. In females of reproductive potential, obtain 2 negative pregnancy tests before starting POMALYST treatment
  • Females of reproductive potential must use 2 forms of contraception or continuously abstain from heterosexual sex during and for 4 weeks after stopping POMALYST treatment

POMALYST is only available through a restricted distribution program called POMALYST REMSTM.


Venous Thromboembolism

  • Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) occur in patients with multiple myeloma treated with POMALYST. Prophylactic anti-thrombotic measures were employed in the clinical trial. Consider prophylactic measures after assessing an individual patient’s underlying risk factors



Embryo-Fetal Toxicity


Because of the embryo-fetal risk, POMALYST is available only through a restricted distribution program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called “POMALYST REMS.” Prescribers and pharmacists must be certified with the program; patients must sign an agreement form and comply with the requirements. Further information about the POMALYST REMS program is available at [celgeneriskmanagement.com] or by telephone at 1-888-423-5436.

Venous Thromboembolism: Patients receiving POMALYST have developed venous thromboembolic events reported as serious adverse reactions. In the trial, all patients were required to receive prophylaxis or antithrombotic treatment. The rate of DVT or PE was 3%. Consider anticoagulation prophylaxis after an assessment of each patient’s underlying risk factors.

Hematologic Toxicity: Neutropenia of any grade was reported in 50% of patients and was the most frequently reported Grade 3/4 adverse event, followed by anemia and thrombocytopenia. Monitor patients for hematologic toxicities, especially neutropenia, with complete blood counts weekly for the first 8 weeks and monthly thereafter. Treatment is continued or modified for Grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicities based upon clinical and laboratory findings. Dosing interruptions and/or modifications are recommended to manage neutropenia and thrombocytopenia.

Hypersensitivity Reactions: Patients with a prior history of serious hypersensitivity associated with thalidomide or lenalidomide were excluded from studies and may be at higher risk of hypersensitivity.

Dizziness and Confusional State: 18% of patients experienced dizziness and 12% of patients experienced a confusional state; 1% of patients experienced grade 3/4 dizziness, and 3% of patients experienced grade 3/4 confusional state. Instruct patients to avoid situations where dizziness or confusion may be a problem and not to take other medications that may cause dizziness or confusion without adequate medical advice.

Neuropathy: 18% of patients experienced neuropathy (approximately 9% peripheral neuropathy). There were no cases of grade 3 or higher neuropathy adverse reactions reported.

Risk of Second Primary Malignancies: Cases of acute myelogenous leukemia have been reported in patients receiving POMALYST as an investigational therapy outside of multiple myeloma.


In the clinical trial MM-002 of 219 patients who received POMALYST alone (n=107) or POMALYST + low-dose dexamethasone (low-dose dex) (n=112), all patients had at least one treatment-emergent adverse reaction.


No formal drug interaction studies have been conducted with POMALYST. Pomalidomide is primarily metabolized by CYP1A2 and CYP3A. Pomalidomide is also a substrate for P-glycoprotein (P-gp). Coadministration of POMALYST with drugs that are strong inhibitors or inducers of CYP1A2, CYP3A, or P-gp should be avoided. Cigarette smoking may reduce pomalidomide exposure due to CYP1A2 induction. Patients should be advised that smoking may reduce the efficacy of pomalidomide.


Pregnancy: If pregnancy does occur during treatment, immediately discontinue the drug and refer patient to an obstetrician/gynecologist experienced in reproductive toxicity for further evaluation and counseling. Report any suspected fetal exposure to POMALYST to the FDA via the MedWatch program at 1-800-332-1088 and also to Celgene Corporation at 1-888-423-5436.

Nursing Mothers: It is not known if pomalidomide is excreted in human milk. Pomalidomide was excreted in the milk of lactating rats. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for adverse reactions in nursing infants from POMALYST, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness of POMALYST in patients under the age of 18 have not been established.

Geriatric Use: No dosage adjustment is required for POMALYST based on age. Patients greater than or equal to 65 years of age were more likely than patients less than or equal to 65 years of age to experience pneumonia.

Renal and Hepatic Impairment: Pomalidomide is metabolized in the liver. Pomalidomide and its metabolites are primarily excreted by the kidneys. The influence of renal and hepatic impairment on the safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of pomalidomide has not been evaluated. Avoid POMALYST in patients with a serum creatinine >3.0 mg/dL. Avoid POMALYST in patients with serum bilirubin >2.0 mg/dL and AST/ALT >3.0 x ULN.

Please see full U.S. Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS, CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and ADVERSE REACTIONS.

About pomalidomide

Pomalidomide is an oral immunomodulatory drug (IMiD®) with a multimodal mechanism of action consisting of three main effects demonstrated in vitro: direct antimyeloma, stromal inhibitory effects and immunomodulatory effects. Pomalidomide in combination with dexamethasone has been approved in the EU for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies including lenalidomide and bortezomib and have demonstrated disease progression on the last therapy.

In addition to the EC decision for the EU, pomalidomide is approved in the United States under the brand name POMALYST® and is under review in other countries.

In the United States, Pomalyst is approved for use in patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies including lenalidomide and bortezomib and have demonstrated disease progression on or within 60 days of completion on the last therapy. Approval is based on response rate. Clinical benefit, such as improvement in survival or symptoms, has not been verified.

About Celgene

Celgene International Sàrl, located in Boudry, Switzerland, is a wholly-owned subsidiary and international headquarters of Celgene Corporation. Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global pharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through gene and protein regulation. For more information, please visit www.celgene.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are generally statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "plans," "will," “outlook” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current plans, estimates, assumptions and projections, and speak only as of the date they are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in light of new information or future events, except as otherwise required by law. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond our control. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of the impact of a number of factors, many of which are discussed in more detail in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: Celgene International Sàrl

Celgene International Sàrl
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