AbbVie Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 3 Trial of VENCLEXTA® (venetoclax) in Combination with Azacitidine in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

- VIALE-A study demonstrated statistically significant improvement in the primary endpoints of overall survival (OS) and composite complete remission rate (CR + CRi)
- AML is one of the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat blood cancers with a very low survival rate and few treatment options [1],[2]
- Full results will be presented at a future medical meeting or published in a peer-reviewed journal

NORTH CHICAGO, IL, USA I March 23, 2020 I AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, today announced the VIALE-A (M15-656) trial of VENCLEXTA® (venetoclax) in combination with azacitidine versus azacitidine in combination with placebo met its dual primary endpoints of statistically significant improvement of overall survival (OS) and composite complete remission rate (CR + CRi) for patients with previously-untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who are ineligible for intensive chemotherapy. At the recommendation of an independent data monitoring committee (IDMC), and per the prespecified interim analysis plan, due to positive efficacy results at the first interim analysis for overall survival, the trial results will be reported early, and the data from the trial will be submitted to the U.S. FDA and global health authorities. Results will be presented at a future medical meeting or published in a peer-reviewed journal.

"For the past three decades, there has been few options for patients with AML who cannot receive or tolerate intensive chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant," said Neil Gallagher, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer and vice president of development, AbbVie. "The positive results from VIALE-A support the clinical benefit of the venetoclax plus azacitidine combination in patients with AML who are ineligible for intensive chemotherapy and reflect our ongoing commitment to transform the standards of care for patients with hematologic malignancies."

AML is one of the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat blood cancers with a very low survival rate.1,2 Despite advances in available therapies and care, the 5-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with AML remains approximately 28%.AML typically worsens quickly, and due to age and comorbidities, not all patients are eligible to receive intensive chemotherapy.4 AML is the most common acute leukemia in the world.5 An estimated 160,000 people are currently living with the disease globally with an incidence rate of 103 new cases per 100,000 people.5 

The Phase 3 VIALE-A study evaluated the efficacy and safety of venetoclax in combination with azacitidine compared with placebo in combination with azacitidine. The study met its dual primary endpoints of OS and composite complete remission (CR + CRi). At the recommendation of an IDMC, and per the prespecified interim analysis plan, due to positive efficacy results at the first interim analysis for overall survival, the trial results will be reported early, and the data from the trial will be submitted to the U.S. FDA and global health authorities. The observed safety profile is generally consistent with the known safety profile of venetoclax combined with azacitidine as observed in previous Phase 1/2 studies and the known safety profiles of the two medications.

In November 2018, AbbVie received accelerated approval in the U.S. for VENCLEXTA in combination with azacitidine, decitabine, or low-dose cytarabine (LDAC) for the treatment of newly-diagnosed AML in adults who are age 75 years or older, or who have comorbidities that preclude use of intensive induction chemotherapy based on the Phase 1/2 studies. Approval was also granted in Mexico, Israel, Puerto Rico, Peru, Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Guatemala, Uruguay, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Australia, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.

The Phase 3 VIALE-A and VIALE-C (M16-043) studies were conducted as confirmatory trials following the accelerated U.S. FDA approval of venetoclax in AML in 2018. In February 2020, AbbVie provided an update on the Phase 3 VIALE-C study of venetoclax in combination with LDAC compared with LDAC in combination with placebo.

VENCLEXTA is being developed by AbbVie and Roche. It is jointly commercialized by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the U.S. and by AbbVie outside of the U.S.

About the VIALE-A (M15-656) Phase 3 Trial
A total of 443 treatment-naïve AML patients were enrolled and 433 were randomized in the double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 VIALE-A trial. The trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of venetoclax in combination with azacitidine (n=287) compared with placebo in combination with azacitidine (n=146).6

About VENCLEXTA® (venetoclax) 
VENCLEXTA® (venetoclax) is a first-in-class medicine that selectively binds and inhibits the B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) protein. In some blood cancers, BCL-2 prevents cancer cells from undergoing their natural death or self-destruction process, called apoptosis. VENCLEXTA targets the BCL-2 protein and works to help restore the process of apoptosis.

VENCLEXTA is being developed by AbbVie and Roche. It is jointly commercialized by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the U.S. and by AbbVie outside of the U.S. Together, the companies are committed to BCL-2 research and to studying venetoclax in clinical trials across several blood and other cancers. VENCLEXTA is approved in more than 50 countries, including the U.S. 

Uses

VENCLEXTA is a prescription medicine used:

  • to treat adults with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)
  • in combination with azacitidine, or decitabine, or low-dose cytarabine to treat adults with newly-diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who:
    • are 75 years of age or older, or
    • have other medical conditions that prevent the use of standard chemotherapy.

VENCLEXTA was approved based on response rates. Continued approval for this use may depend on the results of an ongoing study to find out how VENCLEXTA works over a longer period of time.

It is not known if VENCLEXTA is safe and effective in children.

About AbbVie in Oncology
At AbbVie, we strive to discover and develop medicines that deliver transformational improvements in cancer treatment by uniquely combining our deep knowledge in core areas of biology with cutting-edge technologies, and by working together with our partners – scientists, clinical experts, industry peers, advocates, and patients. We remain focused on delivering these transformative advances in treatment across some of the most debilitating and widespread cancers. We are also committed to exploring solutions to help patients obtain access to our cancer medicines. AbbVie's oncology portfolio now consists of marketed medicines and a pipeline containing multiple new molecules being evaluated worldwide in more than 300 clinical trials and more than 20 different tumor types. For more information, please visit http://www.abbvie.com/oncology.

About AbbVie
AbbVie is a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world's most complex and critical conditions. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

1 Döhner H, et al. Acute myeloid leukemia. N Engl J Med. 2015;373(12):1136-1152.
2 American Cancer Society (2018). Typical Treatment of Most Types of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (Except Acute Promyelocytic M3). https://www.cancer.org/cancer/acute-myeloid-leukemia/treating/typical-treatment-of-aml.html.
3 National Cancer Institute (2018). Acute Myeloid Leukemia - SEER Stat Fact Sheets. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/amyl.html.
4 Pettit, K and Odenike, O. Defining and Treating Older Adults with Acute Myeloid Leukemia Who Are Ineligible for Intensive Therapies. Front Oncol. 2015; 5:250.
5 Puty, T.C., Sarraf, J.S., Do Carmo Almeida, T.C. et al. Evaluation of the impact of single-nucleotide polymorphisms on treatment response, survival and toxicity with cytarabine and anthracyclines in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia: a systematic review protocol. Syst Rev 8, 109 (2019).
6 ClinicalTrials.gov (2019). NCT02993523: A Study of Venetoclax in Combination With Azacitidine Versus Azacitidine in Treatment Naïve Subjects With Acute Myeloid Leukemia Who Are Ineligible for Standard Induction Therapy. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02993523.
7 VENCLEXTA (venetoclax) [Package Insert]. North Chicago, IL.: AbbVie Inc.

SOURCE: AbbVie

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