— Yescarta is the First and Only Treatment in Nearly 30 Years to Demonstrate Superior Overall Survival for Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Large B-cell Lymphoma Versus Standard of Care as Second-Line Treatment With Curative Intent* —

SANTA MONICA, CA, USA I December 21, 2023 I Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a label update for Yescarta® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) to include the overall survival (OS) primary analysis from the landmark Phase 3 ZUMA-7 study showing a statistically significant improvement for Yescarta in OS versus standard of care (SOC) as second-line treatment with curative intent for patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma (R/R LBCL) within 12 months of completion of first-line therapy.

The label update is based on results from the ZUMA-7 study which demonstrated a 27.4% reduction in the risk of death with Yescarta versus SOC, a relative 38% improvement in OS. With an estimated median follow up of 46.7 months overall, the primary analysis of OS showed a statistically significant improvement in the Yescarta arm compared to the standard therapy arm, despite more than half of patients (57%) in the SOC arm subsequently receiving cell therapy off protocol. The estimated 39-month OS rates were 55.9% in the Yescarta arm and 46% in the SOC arm.

“This U.S. label update for Yescarta is an important step to reinforce healthcare provider confidence to treat eligible patients with Yescarta, immediately following progression or relapse in large B-cell lymphoma,” said Frank Neumann, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Development, Kite. “Our ZUMA-7 overall survival analysis proves that when given as second-line therapy, Yescarta is even more effective in improving patient survival than standard of care treatment. Coupled with our rapid and reliable manufacturing, it is our hope to provide patients a chance to live longer lives.”

SOC therapy for this patient population has historically been a multi-step process expected to end with stem-cell transplant. The process starts with chemoimmunotherapy, and if a patient responds and can tolerate further treatment, they move on to high-dose chemotherapy (HDT), followed by autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). Despite this being the prior SOC, less than 40% of patients who started this multi-step process made it through to complete stem cell transplant, compared with 94% of patients randomized to Yescarta in the ZUMA-7 study who received a one-time Yescarta infusion.

Underscoring the Significance for Patients

As the first and only treatment in nearly 30 years to improve survival for patients with R/R LBCL in this setting, Yescarta can potentially change the standard of care for these patients who previously had limited options for long-term remission.

“Lymphoma Research Foundation has continuously supported efforts for the development of new treatments in large B-cell lymphoma with the shared goal of finding a cure,” said Meghan Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer, Lymphoma Research Foundation. “We applaud Kite for bringing the oncology community one step closer to eradicating large B-cell lymphoma and offering new hope to patients.”

In November 2023, the European Medicines Agency approved an update to the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) to include the ZUMA-7 overall survival analysis.

*Treatment of curative intent is a line of treatment administered with the goal of achieving a durable complete response/ remission. 2017. NIH National Library of Medicine “Curative, Life-Extending and Palliative Chemotherapy: New Outcomes Need New Names”

About ZUMA-7 Study

ZUMA-7 is a randomized, open-label, global, multicenter, Phase 3 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of Yescarta versus SOC for initial treatment of adult patients with R/R LBCL within 12 months of first-line therapy. In the study, 359 patients in 77 centers around the world were randomized (1:1) to receive a single infusion of Yescarta or prior SOC second-line treatment. The primary endpoint is EFS as determined by blinded central review and defined as the time from randomization to the earliest date of disease progression per Lugano Classification, commencement of new lymphoma therapy, or death from any cause. Key secondary endpoints include objective response rate (ORR) and OS. Additional secondary endpoints include patient reported outcomes (PROs) and safety. Per hierarchical testing of primary and key secondary endpoints and group sequential testing of OS, an interim analysis of OS occurred at the time of the primary EFS analysis. The prespecified primary OS analysis was to be conducted after 210 deaths or no later than five years after the first patient was randomized.

Yescarta demonstrated a 2.5-fold increase in patients who were alive at two years and did not experience cancer progression or require the need for additional cancer treatment (40.5% vs. 16.3%) and a four-fold greater median EFS (8.3 mo. vs. 2.0 mo.) compared to SOC (hazard ratio 0.398; 95% CI: 0.308-0.514, P<0.0001). In addition to being the largest and longest study of its kind, ZUMA-7 study participants on the Yescarta arm did not receive additional bridging chemotherapy that could have potentially confounded results.

Nearly three times as many patients randomized to Yescarta ultimately received the definitive CAR T-cell therapy treatment (94%) versus those randomized to SOC (35%) who received on-protocol HDT+ASCT. More patients responded to Yescarta (ORR: 83% vs. 50%, odds ratio: 5.31 [95% CI: 3.1-8.9; P<0.0001) and achieved a complete response (CR) with Yescarta (CR rate: 65% vs. 32%) than with SOC. At the time of the primary EFS analysis, more than half of patients in the SOC arm subsequently received Yescarta off study.

In the study, Yescarta had a safety profile that was consistent with previous studies. Among the 168 Yescarta-treated patients evaluable for safety, Grade ≥3 cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurologic events were observed in 7% and 25% of patients, respectively. In the SOC arm, 83% of patients had high grade events, mostly cytopenias (low blood counts).

The Yescarta U.S. Prescribing Information has a BOXED WARNING for the risks of CRS and neurologic toxicities, and Yescarta is approved with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) due to these risks; see below for Important Safety Information.

About Large B-Cell Lymphoma (LBCL)

Globally, LBCL is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). In the United States, more than 18,000 people are diagnosed with LBCL each year. About 30-40% of patients with LBCL will need second-line treatment, as their cancer will either relapse (return) or become refractory (not respond) to initial treatment.

About Yescarta (Axicabtagene Ciloleucel)

Please see full US Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

YESCARTA is a CD19-directed genetically modified autologous T cell immunotherapy indicated for the treatment of:

  • Adult patients with large B-cell lymphoma that is refractory to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or that relapses within 12 months of first-line chemoimmunotherapy.
  • Adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, high-grade B-cell lymphoma, and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma.
    • Limitations of Use: YESCARTA is not indicated for the treatment of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma.
  • Adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on the response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trial(s).

About Kite

Kite, a Gilead Company, is a global biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California, focused on cell therapy to treat and potentially cure cancer. As the global cell therapy leader, Kite has treated more patients with CAR T-cell therapy than any other company. Kite has the largest in-house cell therapy manufacturing network in the world, spanning process development, vector manufacturing, clinical trial supply and commercial product manufacturing.

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California. Gilead Sciences acquired Kite in 2017.

SOURCE: Gilead Sciences