Janssen Presents First Data from Phase 1 Study of BCMAxCD3 Bispecific Teclistamab in Patients with Heavily Pretreated Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma

Teclistamab Data Featured as an Oral Presentation during ASCO Virtual Scientific Program

RARITAN, NJ, USA I May 18, 2020 I The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced today results reported for the first time from a Phase 1 first-in-human dose escalation study (NCT03145181) of teclistamab (JNJ-7957), an investigational bispecific antibody targeting both B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and CD3 receptors on T-cells in the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Initial results suggest a manageable safety profile across all teclistamab doses evaluated. Investigators reported that patients achieved deep responses which persisted, including some minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative complete responses (CR) at 10-6, with one durable beyond 12 months.1 The data will be featured during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Scientific Program as an oral presentation on Saturday, May 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET (Abstract #100).

The study enrolled patients with multiple myeloma who had relapsed or were refractory to established therapies and had previously been treated with a proteasome inhibitor (PI) and an immunomodulatory drug (IMiD).1 Patients had received a median of six prior lines of treatment (range, 2-14) before starting the study; 92 percent were triple-class exposed, 86 percent were refractory to the last line of therapy, 80 percent were triple-class refractory, and 41 percent were penta-drug refractory, meaning their cancer did not respond to treatment or had relapsed within 60 days with two or more immunomodulatory agents, two or more PIs, and an anti-CD38 therapy.Patients with triple-class refractory and penta-drug refractory multiple myeloma face poorer survival outcomes as treatment options are limited.

"While the treatment of multiple myeloma has significantly advanced over recent years, finding additional treatment options for patients who relapse and become resistant to existing therapies remains critical," said Saad Usmani, M.D., FACP, Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders, Levine Cancer Institute/Carolinas HealthCare System, and lead study investigator. "Initial findings for teclistamab in this heavily pretreated population support further study of this investigational dual-targeting immunotherapeutic."

The study will be conducted in two parts: dose escalation (part 1) and dose expansion (part 2). Results from the Phase 1 portion of the study showed deep responses among patients (n=78) who were treated with teclistamab across dose groups, ranging from 0.3 µg/kg-720 µg/kg. At the 270 µg/kg dose (n=12), the overall response rate (ORR) was 67 percent (8/12); 50 percent (6/12) of patients achieved a very good partial response (VGPR) or better, and three patients achieved CR.1  Responses were deep and persisted. At the time of data cut-off, 76 percent (16/21) of patients who achieved a response across all doses remained in the study with an ongoing response, and 80 percent (4/5) who were evaluable for MRD analysis were MRD-negative, with two patients having a MRD-negative CR. Maintained MRD-negativity was confirmed for both patients who could be evaluated.1  Additional dose escalation and expansion of the study is ongoing. 

"We are committed to a multiplatform approach in our scientific strategy to address patients' needs and provide treatment options for all patients with multiple myeloma," said Yusri Elsayed, M.D., M.H.Sc., Ph.D. Vice President, Global Head, Hematologic Malignancies, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. "Teclistamab is an example of one of our bispecific antibodies where we look to harness our immunotherapy expertise to advance potentially new options for patients whose disease has sadly progressed."

In the Phase 1 study, the most common adverse events (AEs) (all grade) were anemia (58 percent); cytokine release syndrome (CRS) (56 percent); neutropenia (45 percent); thrombocytopenia (40 percent); and pyrexia (31 percent). In patients who experienced Grade 3 and above AEs (≥20 percent), the most common were neutropenia (38 percent); anemia (36 percent); and thrombocytopenia (24 percent).1 One Grade 5 AE, respiratory failure in the setting of pneumonia, was reported but deemed by the investigator to be unrelated to the treatment.1 CRS events were all mild or moderate (Grade 1–2) and generally confined to first step-up and full doses, which may support the use of step-up dosing to mitigate CRS.1

About Teclistamab
Teclistamab (JNJ-7957) is an investigational bispecific antibody targeting both BCMA and CD3. CD3 is involved in activating the immune system's response to fight infection, and BCMA is expressed at significantly higher levels in people with multiple myeloma.2,3,4,5,6 Teclistamab redirects CD3 T-cells to BCMA-expressing myeloma cells to induce cytotoxicity of the targeted cells.2,3 Results from preclinical studies demonstrate that teclistamab kills myeloma cell lines and myeloma bone marrow cells from heavily pretreated patients.3

Teclistamab is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical study for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and is also being explored in combination studies. The production and development of the antibody followed Janssen Biotech, Inc.'s licensing agreement with Genmab for use of its DuoBody® technology platform.

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that occurs when malignant plasma cells grow uncontrollably in the bone marrow.7,8 Refractory cancer occurs when a patient's disease is resistant to treatment or in the case of multiple myeloma, when patients progress within 60 days of their last therapy.9,10 Relapsed cancer means the disease has returned after a period of initial, partial or complete remission.11 In 2020, it is estimated that 32,270 people will be diagnosed and 12,830 will die from multiple myeloma in the U.S.12 Most patients are diagnosed due to symptoms, which can include bone fracture or pain, low red blood cell counts, fatigue, calcium elevation, kidney problems or infections.13

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At Janssen, we're creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We're the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension.

Learn more at www.janssen.com. Follow us at www.twitter.com/JanssenGlobal and www.twitter.com/JanssenUS. Janssen Research & Development, LLC and Janssen Biotech, Inc. are part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

DuoBody® is a registered trademark of Genmab A/S.

1 Saad Z. Usmani. Phase 1 study of Teclistamab, a humanized B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) x CD3 bispecific antibody, in relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Available at: https://meetinglibrary.asco.org/record/186864/abstract  
2 Labrijn AF et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2013;110:5145.
3 Frerichs KA et al. Clin Cancer Res. 2020; doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2299. 
4 Cancer Research Institute. "Adoptive Cell Therapy: TIL, TCR, CAR T, AND NK CELL THERAPIES." Available at: https://www.cancerresearch.org/immunotherapy/treatment-types/adoptive-cell-therapy   
Cho SF et al. Frontiers in Immunology. 2018; 9: 1821. 
6 Benonisson H et al. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2019 (18) (2) 312-322.
7 Kumar SK, et al. Leukemia. 2012 Jan; 26(1):149-57.
8 American Cancer Society. "What Is Multiple Myeloma?." Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiplemyeloma/detailedguide/multiple-myeloma-what-is-multiple-myeloma. Accessed May 2020.
9 National Cancer Institute. "NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Refractory." Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms?CdrID=350245. Accessed May 2020.
10 Richardson, et al. "The Treatment of Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma." ASH Education Book. January 1, 2007 vol. 2007 no. 1. 317-323.
11 National Cancer Institute. "NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Relapsed." Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms?CdrID=45866. Accessed May 2020.
12 American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Statistics. American Cancer Society | Cancer Facts & Statistics. https://cancerstatisticscenter.cancer.org/#!/cancer-site/Myeloma. Accessed May 2020. 
13 American Cancer Society. "Diagnosing Multiple Myeloma From Test Results." Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiplemyeloma/detailedguide/multiple-myeloma-diagnosis. Accessed May 2020.

SOURCE: Janssen

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