BeiGene Receives FDA Approval for TEVIMBRA® for the Treatment of Advanced or Metastatic Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma After Prior Chemotherapy

Results from the global, Phase 3 RATIONALE 302 trial showed TEVIMBRA prolonged the survival of patients who received prior systemic treatment compared to chemotherapy

Approval represents the first indication in the U.S. for TEVIMBRA

BASEL, Switzerland & BEIJING, China & CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA I March 14, 2024 I BeiGene, Ltd. (NASDAQ: BGNE; HKEX: 06160; SSE: 688235), a global oncology company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved TEVIMBRA® (tislelizumab-jsgr) as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) after prior systemic chemotherapy that did not include a PD-(L)1 inhibitor. TEVIMBRA will be available in the U.S. in the second half of 2024.

“Patients diagnosed with advanced or metastasized ESCC, the most common histologic subtype of esophageal cancer, often progress following initial therapy and are in need of new options”

“Today’s FDA approval of TEVIMBRA for patients with ESCC who have previously received chemotherapy, along with its ongoing review of our BLA for first-line ESCC patients, represents a significant step in our commitment to bringing this therapy to more patients around the world,” said Mark Lanasa, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, Solid Tumors at BeiGene. “As BeiGene’s first drug candidate produced through our immuno-oncology program and second approved medicine in the U.S., TEVIMBRA is poised to be a critical pillar of our solid tumor development program, which spans more than 17 registration-enabling clinical trials in more than 30 countries across regions globally.”

The approval is based on the RATIONALE 302 trial, which met its primary endpoint in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population with a statistically significant and clinically meaningful survival benefit for TEVIMBRA compared with chemotherapy. In the ITT population, the median overall survival (OS) in the TEVIMBRA arm was 8.6 months (95% CI: 7.5, 10.4) compared to 6.3 months (95% CI: 5.3, 7.0) in the chemotherapy arm (p=0.0001; hazard ratio [HR]=0.70 [95% CI: 0.57, 0.85]). The safety profile of TEVIMBRA was favorable over chemotherapy.i The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions for TEVIMBRA, including laboratory abnormalities, were increased glucose, decreased hemoglobin, decreased lymphocytes, decreased sodium, decreased albumin, increased alkaline phosphatase, anemia, fatigue, increased AST, musculoskeletal pain, decreased weight, increased ALT and cough.i

“Patients diagnosed with advanced or metastasized ESCC, the most common histologic subtype of esophageal cancer, often progress following initial therapy and are in need of new options,” Syma Iqbal, M.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Section Chief Gastrointestinal Oncology, Division of Medical Oncology and Cancer Physician in Chief, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. “The RATIONALE 302 trial showed that patients with previously treated ESCC who received TEVIMBRA saw a clinically meaningful survival benefit, highlighting its potential as an important treatment option for these patients.”

Tislelizumab received approval by the European Commission for advanced or metastatic ESCC after prior chemotherapy in 2023 and a positive opinion by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in February 2024 as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer across three indications.

The FDA is also reviewing Biologics License Applications (BLAs) for tislelizumab as a first-line treatment for patients with unresectable, recurrent, locally advanced, or metastatic ESCC and patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction (G/GEJ) adenocarcinoma. The target action dates are July and December 2024, respectively.

BeiGene has launched more than 17 potentially registration-enabling trials with TEVIMBRA, of which 11 Phase 3 randomized trials and four Phase 2 trials have already had positive readouts. Through these trials, TEVIMBRA has demonstrated its potential to deliver clinically meaningful improvements in survival benefits and quality of life for hundreds of thousands of cancer patients across a range of tumor types – in many cases, regardless of PD-(L)1 status – both as monotherapy and in combination with other regimens. More than 900,000 patients have been prescribed TEVIMBRA globally to date.


RATIONALE 302 is a global, randomized, open-label, Phase 3 study (NCT03430843) designed to investigate the efficacy and safety of TEVIMBRA when compared with investigator’s choice of chemotherapy as a second-line treatment for patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic ESCC. The study randomized 512 patients from 132 research sites in 11 countries in Europe, Asia and North America.

About ESCC

Globally, esophageal cancer (EC) is the sixth most common cause of cancer-related deaths, and ESCC is the most common histologic subtype, accounting for nearly 90% of ECs.ii An estimated 957,000 new EC cases are projected in 2040, an increase of nearly 60% from 2020, underscoring the need for additional effective treatments.ii EC is a rapidly fatal disease, and more than two-thirds of patients have advanced or metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, with an expected five-year survival rate of less than 6% for those with distant metastases.iii

About TEVIMBRA® (tislelizumab-jsgr)

Tislelizumab is a uniquely designed humanized immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) monoclonal antibody with high affinity and binding specificity against PD-1. It is designed to minimize binding to Fc-gamma (Fcγ) receptors on macrophages, helping to aid the body’s immune cells to detect and fight tumors.

U.S. Indication and Important Safety Information for TEVIMBRA (tislelizumab-jsgr)


TEVIMBRA (tislelizumab-jsgr), as a single agent, is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma after prior systemic chemotherapy that did not include a PD-(L)1 inhibitor.

Please see full U.S. Prescribing Information including Medication Guide.

About BeiGene

BeiGene is a global oncology company that is discovering and developing innovative treatments that are more affordable and accessible to cancer patients worldwide. With a broad portfolio, we are expediting development of our diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics through our internal capabilities and collaborations. We are committed to radically improving access to medicines for far more patients who need them. Our growing global team of more than 10,000 colleagues spans five continents, with administrative offices in Basel, Beijing, and Cambridge, U.S. To learn more about BeiGene, please visit and follow us on LinkedIn and X (formerly known as Twitter).

i Shen, L., Kato, K., Kim, S. B., Ajani, J. A., Zhao, K., He, Z., … & Van Cutsem, E. (2022). Tislelizumab versus chemotherapy as second-line treatment for advanced or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (RATIONALE-302): A randomized phase III study. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 40(26), 3065-3076. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.21.01926
ii Morgan E, et al. The Global Landscape of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Incidence and Mortality in 2020 and Projections to 2040: New Estimates From GLOBOCAN 2020. Gastroenterology. 2022 Sep;163(3):649-658.e2. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2022.05.054. Epub 2022 Jun 4. PMID: 35671803.
iii National Cancer Institute. Cancer stat facts: esophageal cancer.