Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company with its parent company, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved VELCADE® (bortezomib) for injection for use in previously untreated patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). VELCADE is the first treatment in the United States to be approved for use in previously untreated patients with MCL. This approval extends the utility of VELCADE beyond relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma, for which it has been approved since 2006.
“Mantle cell lymphoma is a subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is usually a clinically aggressive malignancy, and it is a challenging disease to treat in part due to a relatively high risk of relapse,” said Andrew Evens, DO, MSc, Director, Tufts Cancer Center; Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology; Director, Lymphoma Program. “There are several new targeted drugs approved by the FDA for patients with relapsed or refractory disease, but up to this point, there had been none approved for the treatment of patients with previously untreated disease. VELCADE, when used in the VcR-CAP regimen, VELCADE, rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and prednisone, has demonstrated improved outcomes for patients, making it an important advance for the treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with mantle cell lymphoma.”
This approval is based on the results of an international, randomized, head-to-head Phase 3 study that showed that previously untreated patients receiving a VELCADE-containing combination (VcR-CAP) experienced a 59 percent relative improvement in the study’s primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS) compared to those who were administered the standard R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone) regimen (median 25 vs. 14 months; Hazard Ratio [HR] 0.63; P<0.001) at a median follow up of 40 months. An Independent Review Committee (IRC) assessed the primary efficacy endpoint of PFS. The complete response (CR) rate for patients receiving VcR-CAP vs. R-CHOP was 44 percent vs. 34 percent.
“We are delighted VELCADE has received approval in previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma. The VELCADE-combination delivered an 11-month median advantage in progression-free survival as compared to a current standard of care,” said Dixie-Lee Esseltine, MD, FRCPC, Vice President, Oncology Clinical Research, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co. “Since 2006, VELCADE has proven to be an important therapy for the treatment of relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma, and it can now be used as an initial treatment for all patients with mantle cell lymphoma.”