AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s Enhertu injection recommended for approval in the EU as a treatment for certain type of gastric cancer; drug is currently approved in the US

Sample article from our Tissue & Hygiene

November 14, 2022 (press release) –

 

Based on DESTINY-Gastric02 which showed AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s Enhertu demonstrated clinically meaningful efficacy and DESTINY-Gastric01 which showed improved overall survival compared to chemotherapy
 
AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan) has been recommended for approval in the European Union (EU) as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with advanced HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma who have received a prior trastuzumab-based regimen.

Enhertu is a specifically engineered HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate (ADC) being jointly developed and commercialised by AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency based its positive opinion on results from the DESTINY-Gastric02 and the DESTINY-Gastric01 Phase II trials.

In DESTINY-Gastric02, conducted in patients from North America and Europe, updated results showed treatment with Enhertu resulted in a confirmed objective response rate (ORR) of 41.8% as assessed by independent central review (ICR). Median duration of response (DoR) was 8.1 months and median overall survival (OS) was 12.1 months. Primary results from the DESTINY-Gastric02 Phase II trial were presented at the 2021 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress, with the updated data presented at ESMO 2022.1

In DESTINY-Gastric01, conducted in patients from Japan and South Korea, updated results showed treatment with Enhertu resulted in an ORR of 51.3% versus 14.3% with chemotherapy (irinotecan or paclitaxel). Patients treated with Enhertu had a 40% reduction in the risk of death versus patients treated with chemotherapy (based on a hazard ratio of 0.60; 95% confidence interval: 0.42-0.86, p=0.01) with a median OS of 12.5 months versus 8.9 months. Additionally, confirmed ORR, a major efficacy outcome, was 42.0% with Enhertu versus 12.5% with chemotherapy as assessed by ICR. The primary analysis was published in The New England Journal of Medicine,2 with the updated data presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “Gastric cancer is usually diagnosed in the advanced stage in many European countries and patients face high mortality rates. If approved, Enhertu would be the first HER2-directed medicine for patients with advanced gastric cancer in the European Union in more than a decade.”

Ken Takeshita, Global Head, Oncology R&D, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc, said: “Enhertu is the first HER2-directed medicine to demonstrate a significant improvement in overall survival compared to chemotherapy in patients with gastric cancer following initial treatment with a HER2-directed medicine in the advanced or metastatic setting. The CHMP opinion recognises the high unmet need in this patient population and brings us one step closer to bringing this medicine to patients with gastric cancer in Europe.”

In both trials, the safety profiles observed in patients treated with Enhertu were consistent with those seen in other trials of Enhertu with no new safety signals identified.

Enhertu is approved in the US and several other countries for locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastric cancer.

Notes

HER2-positive gastric cancer
Gastric (stomach) cancer is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and the fourth highest leading cause of cancer mortality, with a five-year global survival rate of 5% to 10% for advanced or metastatic disease.3-5 Approximately one million new patients were diagnosed with gastric cancer in 2020, with 768,000 deaths reported globally.6 In Europe, approximately 136,000 cases of gastric cancer are diagnosed annually, and Eastern Europe has the second highest incidence of gastric cancer worldwide after Eastern Asia.5-6 Gastric cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer death in Europe and is typically diagnosed in the advanced stage. Even when diagnosed in earlier stages of the disease, the survival rate remains modest.5-7

Approximately one in five gastric cancers are HER2-positive.8,9 HER2 is a tyrosine kinase receptor growth promoting protein expressed on the surface of many types of tumours including breast, gastric, lung and colorectal cancers.8 HER2 overexpression may be associated with a specific HER2 gene alteration known as HER2 amplification.9

Recommended first-line treatment for HER2-positive advanced or metastatic gastric cancer is combination chemotherapy plus trastuzumab, an anti-HER2 medicine, which has been shown to improve survival outcomes when added to chemotherapy.10 For patients with metastatic gastric cancer that progresses following initial treatment with a trastuzumab-based regimen, treatment options are limited, and in many regions in the world there are no additional HER2 directed medicines available.2,11,12

DESTINY-Gastric02
DESTINY-Gastric02 is an open-label, single-arm Phase II trial in Western patients evaluating the efficacy and safety of Enhertu (6.4mg/kg) in patients with HER2-positive metastatic and/or unresectable gastric or GEJ adenocarcinoma with disease progression on or after a trastuzumab-containing regimen.

The primary endpoint of DESTINY-Gastric02 is confirmed ORR based on ICR. Secondary endpoints include progression-free survival (PFS), OS, DoR and safety.

DESTINY-Gastric02 enrolled 79 patients at multiple sites in North America and Europe. For more information about the trial, visit ClinicalTrials.gov.

DESTINY-Gastric01
DESTINY-Gastric01 is a randomised, open-label Phase II trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of Enhertu (6.4mg/kg) in patients from Japan and South Korea with primarily HER2-positive (defined as immunohistochemistry [IHC] 3+ or IHC 2+/in-situ hybridisation [ISH]+) advanced gastric cancer or GEJ adenocarcinoma whose tumours have progressed on two or more prior treatment regimens including fluoropyrimidine (5-FU), platinum chemotherapy and trastuzumab. Patients were randomised 2:1 to receive Enhertu or physician’s choice of chemotherapy (paclitaxel or irinotecan monotherapy).

The primary endpoint of DESTINY-Gastric01 is ORR. Secondary endpoints include OS, PFS, DoR, disease control rate and time to treatment failure, as well as pharmacokinetic and safety endpoints.

DESTINY-Gastric01 enrolled 187 patients at multiple sites in Japan and South Korea. For more information about the trial, visit ClinicalTrials.gov.

Enhertu
Enhertu is a HER2-directed ADC. Designed using Daiichi Sankyo’s proprietary DXd ADC technology, Enhertu is the lead ADC in the oncology portfolio of Daiichi Sankyo and the most advanced programme in AstraZeneca’s ADC scientific platform. Enhertu consists of a HER2 monoclonal antibody attached to a topoisomerase I inhibitor payload, an exatecan derivative, via a stable tetrapeptide-based cleavable linker.

Enhertu (5.4mg/kg) is approved in more than 35 countries for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received a (or one or more) prior anti-HER2-based regimen either in the metastatic setting, or in the neoadjuvant or adjuvant setting and have developed disease recurrence during or within six months of completing therapy based on the results from the DESTINY-Breast03 trial.

Enhertu (5.4mg/kg) is approved in several countries for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received two or more prior anti-HER2-based regimens based on the results from the DESTINY-Breast01 trial.

Enhertu (5.4mg/kg) is approved in Brazil and the US for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-low (IHC 1+ or IHC 2+/ISH-) breast cancer who have received a prior chemotherapy in the metastatic setting or developed disease recurrence during or within six months of completing adjuvant chemotherapy based on the results from the DESTINY-Breast04 trial.

Enhertu (5.4mg/kg) is approved under accelerated approval in the US for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer whose tumours have activating HER2 (ERBB2) mutations, as detected by an FDA-approved test, and who have received a prior systemic therapy, based on the results of the DESTINY-Lung02 trial. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.

Enhertu (6.4mg/kg) is approved in several countries for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastric or GEJ who have received a prior trastuzumab-based regimen based on the results from the DESTINY-Gastric01 trial.

Enhertu development programme
A comprehensive development programme is underway globally, evaluating the efficacy and safety of Enhertu monotherapy across multiple HER2-targetable cancers, including breast, gastric, lung and colorectal cancers. Trials in combination with other anticancer treatments, such as immunotherapy, are also underway.

Regulatory applications for Enhertu in breast and gastric cancer are currently under review in several other countries based on the DESTINY-Breast01, DESTINY-Breast03, DESTINY-Breast04, DESTINY-Gastric01 and DESTINY-Gastric02 trials, respectively.

Daiichi Sankyo collaboration
Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (TSE: 4568) [referred to as Daiichi Sankyo] and AstraZeneca entered into a global collaboration to jointly develop and commercialise Enhertu (a HER2-directed ADC) in March 2019, and datopotamab deruxtecan (DS-1062; a TROP2-directed ADC) in July 2020, except in Japan where Daiichi Sankyo maintains exclusive rights. Daiichi Sankyo is responsible for the manufacturing and supply of Enhertu and datopotamab deruxtecan.

AstraZeneca in gastrointestinal cancers
AstraZeneca has a broad development programme for the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers across several medicines and a variety of tumour types and stages of disease. In 2020, GI cancers collectively represented approximately 5.1 million new cancer cases leading to approximately 3.6 million deaths.13

Within this programme, the Company is committed to improving outcomes in gastric, liver, biliary tract, oesophageal, pancreatic and colorectal cancers.

Enhertu, a HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate, is approved in the US and several other countries for HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer and is being assessed in colorectal cancer. Enhertu is jointly developed and commercialised by AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo.

Imfinzi (durvalumab) is approved in the US and several other countries in combination with chemotherapy (gemcitabine plus cisplatin) for advanced biliary tract cancer and in the US in combination with Imjudo (tremelimumab) in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. Imfinzi is being assessed in combinations, including with Imjudo, in liver, oesophageal and gastric cancers in an extensive development programme spanning early to late-stage disease across settings.

Lynparza (olaparib), a first-in-class PARP inhibitor, is approved in the US and several other countries for the treatment of BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer. Lynparza is developed and commercialised in collaboration with MSD (Merck & Co., Inc. inside the US and Canada).

AstraZeneca in oncology
AstraZeneca is leading a revolution in oncology with the ambition to provide cures for cancer in every form, following the science to understand cancer and all its complexities to discover, develop and deliver life-changing medicines to patients.

The Company's focus is on some of the most challenging cancers. It is through persistent innovation that AstraZeneca has built one of the most diverse portfolios and pipelines in the industry, with the potential to catalyse changes in the practice of medicine and transform the patient experience.

AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer care and, one day, eliminate cancer as a cause of death.

AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

Contacts
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References

1. Updated analysis of DESTINY-Gastric02. Available at: https://oncologypro.esmo.org/meeting-resources/esmo-congress/updated-analysis-of-destiny-gastric02-a-phase-ii-single-arm-trial-of-trastuzumab-deruxtecan-t-dxd-in-western-patients-pts-with-her2-positive. Accessed November 2022.

2. Shitara K, et al. Trastuzumab Deruxtecan in Previously Treated HER2-Positive Gastric Cancer. N Engl J Med 2020; 382:2419-2430.

3. Casamayor M, et al. Targeted literature review of the global burden of gastric cancer. Ecancermedicalscience. 2018; 12:883;12:883.

4. SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Stomach Cancer. Available at: https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/stomach.html. Accessed November 2022.

5. Sung. H et al. Global cancer statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2021; 10.3322/caac.21660.

6. WHO. International Agency of Cancer Research. Cancer Today. Stomach Incidence. 2020. Available at: https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/cancers/7-Stomach-fact-sheet.pdf. Accessed November 2022.

7. Cancer Research UK. Stomach Cancer Survival Statistics. Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/stomach-cancer/survival#heading-Zero. Accessed November 2022.

8. Iqbal N, et al. Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) in Cancers: Overexpression and Therapeutic Implications. Mol Biol Int. 2014; 2014:852748.

9. Abrahao-Machado LF, et al. HER2 testing in gastric cancer: An update. World J Gastroenterol. 2016; 22(19):4619-4625.

10. Orditura M, et al. “Treatment of gastric cancer.” World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 20.7 (2014): 1635.

11. Thuss-Patience PC, et al. Trastuzumab emtansine versus taxane use for previously treated HER2-positive locally advanced or metastatic gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (GATSBY): an international randomised, open-label, adaptive, phase 2/3 study. Lancet Oncol. 2017; 18(5):640-653.

12. Satoh T, et al. Lapatinib Plus Paclitaxel Versus Paclitaxel Alone in the Second-Line Treatment of HER2-Amplified Advanced Gastric Cancer in Asian Populations: TyTAN—A Randomized, Phase III Study. J Clin Oncol.2014; 32(19):2039‐2049.

13. WHO. World Cancer Fact Sheet. Available at: https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/900-world-fact-sheets.pdf. Accessed November 2022.

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