LONDON: AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi (durvalumab) has been approved in the European Union for the 1st-line treatment of adults with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) in combination with a choice of chemotherapies, etoposide plus either carboplatin or cisplatin.
SCLC is a highly aggressive, fast-growing form of lung cancer that typically recurs and progresses rapidly despite initial response to chemotherapy.
The approval by the European Commission was based on positive results from the Phase III CASPIAN trial showing Imfinzi plus chemotherapy demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful overall survival (OS) benefit for the 1st-line treatment of patients with ES-SCLC. It follows the recommendation for approval by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency in July 2020.
Luis Paz-Ares MD, Ph.D., Chair, Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Doce de Octubre, Madrid, Spain and principal investigator in the Phase III CASPIAN trial said: “For the first time, patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer in Europe will have the option of an immunotherapy combination with cisplatin, a preferred chemotherapy for many European physicians in this setting. Today’s approval of Imfinzi provides physicians with an important new 1st-line treatment option that provides significant overall survival benefit with a well-tolerated treatment.”
Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, said: “Imfinzi plus chemotherapy is becoming a new global standard of care for patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer, and we are pleased to bring this option to patients in Europe who urgently need it. This is the first immunotherapy regimen to offer both a sustained survival benefit and an improved response rate, as well as a choice of chemotherapies and convenient dosing every four weeks during maintenance.”
The Company is pursuing a comprehensive clinical-trial programme that includes Imfinzi as a monotherapy and in combination with tremelimumab in multiple tumour types, stages of disease, and lines of therapy, and where relevant using the PD-L1 biomarker as a decision-making tool to define the best potential treatment path for a patient. In addition, the ability to combine the IO portfolio with radiation, chemotherapy, small targeted molecules from across AstraZeneca’s Oncology pipeline, and from research partners, may provide new treatment options across a broad range of tumours.
AstraZeneca has a deep-rooted heritage in oncology and offers a quickly growing portfolio of new medicines that has the potential to transform patients’ lives and the Company’s future. With seven new medicines launched between 2014 and 2020, and a broad pipeline of small molecules and biologics in development, the Company is committed to advance oncology as a key growth driver for AstraZeneca focused on lung, ovarian, breast and blood cancers.
By harnessing the power of four scientific platforms – Immuno-Oncology, Tumour Drivers and Resistance, DNA Damage Response and Antibody Drug Conjugates – and by championing the development of personalised combinations, AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer treatment and, one day, eliminate cancer as a cause of death.