Press Releases

Eisai to Present Latest Data on LENVIMA® (lenvatinib) and KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) Combination and Discovery of a Structurally Novel Class of STING Agonists at SITC's 33rd Annual Meeting

Oct 24, 2018

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Oct. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Eisai Inc. announced today the presentation of four abstracts at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in Washington, D.C. from November 9-11. The data to be presented include studies of lenvatinib (marketed as LENVIMA®), an orally available kinase inhibitor discovered by Eisai, in combination with Merck's (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) anti-PD-1 therapy pembrolizumab (marketed as KEYTRUDA®), for investigational uses in three different tumor types: advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and urothelial cancer. In addition, Eisai will also present data on the discovery and preclinical development of E7766, a structurally novel class of STING (STimulator of InterferoN Genes) agonists for cancer immunotherapy.

Eisai logo.  (PRNewsFoto/Eisai Inc.) (PRNewsfoto/Eisai Inc.)

"We are excited by the latest preliminary clinical activity observed with the lenvatinib and pembrolizumab combination in these advanced tumor types," said Alton Kremer, MD, PhD, Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Medical Officer, Oncology Business Group at Eisai. "These data at SITC not only show the potential of this combination, but also our unwavering commitment to continue exploring ways to address the needs of patients impacted by difficult-to-treat cancers."

This release discusses investigational uses for FDA-approved products. It is not intended to convey conclusions about efficacy and safety. There is no guarantee that any investigational uses of FDA-approved products will successfully complete clinical development or gain FDA approval.

The full list of Eisai presentations along with the time and location of each session is included below.

ABSTRACT NAME

SESSION

(All times are U.S. Eastern Standard Time)

A phase 1b/2 trial of lenvatinib in combination with
pembrolizumab in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Presentation #P392

Marcia S. Brose, MD, PhD

 

Rapid Oral Abstract Presentation Session

1:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

 

Poster Viewing & Exhibits; Poster Reception

12:20 – 1:50 p.m.; 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Hall E

A phase 1b/2 trial of lenvatinib in combination with
pembrolizumab in patients with advanced melanoma

Friday, November 9, 2018

Presentation #P391

Matthew H. Taylor, MD

 

Poster Viewing & Exhibits; Poster Reception

12:45 – 2:15 p.m.; 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Hall E

 

A phase 1b/2 trial of lenvatinib in combination with
pembrolizumab in patients with urothelial cancer

Friday, November 9, 2018

Presentation #P393

Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD

 

Poster Viewing & Exhibits; Poster Reception

12:45 – 2:15 p.m.; 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Hall E

 

Discovery and preclinical development of E7766, a novel
STING agonist for cancer immunotherapy with a superior
profile over a leading reference compound

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Presentation #P598

Xingfeng Bao, PhD

 

Poster Viewing & Exhibits; Poster Reception

12:20 – 1:50 p.m.; 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Hall E

 

In March 2018, Eisai and Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada), through an affiliate, entered into a strategic collaboration for the worldwide co-development and co-commercialization of lenvatinib, both as monotherapy and in combination with pembrolizumab.

About LENVIMA® (lenvatinib) capsules 10 mg and 4 mg

LENVIMA® (lenvatinib) is a kinase inhibitor that is indicated:

  • For the treatment of patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC)
  • In combination with everolimus, for the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following one prior anti-angiogenic therapy
  • For the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)  

 

LENVIMA, discovered and developed by Eisai, is a kinase inhibitor that inhibits the kinase activities of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors VEGFR1 (FLT1), VEGFR2 (KDR), and VEGFR3 (FLT4). LENVIMA inhibits other kinases that have been implicated in pathogenic angiogenesis, tumor growth, and cancer progression in addition to their normal cellular functions, including fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors FGFR1-4; the platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα), KIT, and RET. The combination of lenvatinib and everolimus showed increased anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor activity as demonstrated by decreased human endothelial cell proliferation, tube formation, and VEGF signaling in vitro and tumor volume in mouse xenograft models of human renal cell cancer greater than each drug alone. Lenvatinib also exhibited antiproliferative activity in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines dependent on activated FGFR signaling with a concurrent inhibition of FGF-receptor substrate 2α (FRS2α) phosphorylation.

Important Safety Information

Warnings and Precautions

Hypertension.  In DTC, hypertension occurred in 73% of patients on LENVIMA (44% grade 3-4). In RCC, hypertension occurred in 42% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus (13% grade 3). Systolic blood pressure ≥160 mmHg occurred in 29% of patients, and 21% had diastolic blood pressure ≥100 mmHg. In HCC, hypertension occurred in 45% of LENVIMA-treated patients (24% grade 3). Grade 4 hypertension was not reported in HCC.

Serious complications of poorly controlled hypertension have been reported. Control blood pressure prior to initiation. Monitor blood pressure after 1 week, then every 2 weeks for the first 2 months, and then at least monthly thereafter during treatment. Withhold and resume at reduced dose when hypertension is controlled or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Cardiac Dysfunction.  Serious and fatal cardiac dysfunction can occur with LENVIMA. Across clinical trials in 799 patients with DTC, RCC, and HCC, grade 3 or higher cardiac dysfunction occurred in 3% of LENVIMA-treated patients. Monitor for clinical symptoms or signs of cardiac dysfunction. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Arterial Thromboembolic Events.  Among patients receiving LENVIMA or LENVIMA + everolimus, arterial thromboembolic events of any severity occurred in 2% of patients in RCC and HCC and 5% in DTC. Grade 3-5 arterial thromboembolic events ranged from 2% to 3% across all clinical trials.

Permanently discontinue following an arterial thrombotic event. The safety of resuming after an arterial thromboembolic event has not been established and LENVIMA has not been studied in patients who have had an arterial thromboembolic event within the previous 6 months.

Hepatotoxicity.  Across clinical studies enrolling 1,327 LENVIMA-treated patients with malignancies other than HCC, serious hepatic adverse reactions occurred in 1.4% of patients. Fatal events, including hepatic failure, acute hepatitis and hepatorenal syndrome, occurred in 0.5% of patients. In HCC, hepatic encephalopathy occurred in 8% of LENVIMA-treated patients (5% grade 3-5). Grade 3-5 hepatic failure occurred in 3% of LENVIMA-treated patients. 2% of patients discontinued LENVIMA due to hepatic encephalopathy and 1% discontinued due to hepatic failure.

Monitor liver function prior to initiation, then every 2 weeks for the first 2 months, and at least monthly thereafter during treatment. Monitor patients with HCC closely for signs of hepatic failure, including hepatic encephalopathy. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Renal Failure or Impairment.  Serious including fatal renal failure or impairment can occur with LENVIMA. Renal impairment was reported in 14% and 7% of LENVIMA-treated patients in DTC and HCC, respectively. Grade 3-5 renal failure or impairment occurred in 3% of patients with DTC and 2% of patients with HCC, including 1 fatal event in each study. In RCC, renal impairment or renal failure was reported in 18% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients (10% grade 3).

Initiate prompt management of diarrhea or dehydration/hypovolemia. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue for renal failure or impairment based on severity.

Proteinuria.  In DTC and HCC, proteinuria was reported in 34% and 26% of LENVIMA-treated patients, respectively. Grade 3 proteinuria occurred in 11% and 6% in DTC and HCC, respectively. In RCC, proteinuria occurred in 31% of patients receiving LENVIMA + everolimus (8% grade 3).

Monitor for proteinuria prior to initiation and periodically during treatment. If urine dipstick proteinuria ≥2+ is detected, obtain a 24-hour urine protein. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Diarrhea.  Of the 737 LENVIMA-treated patients in DTC and HCC, diarrhea occurred in 49% (6% grade 3). In RCC, diarrhea occurred in 81% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients (19% grade 3). Diarrhea was the most frequent cause of dose interruption/reduction, and diarrhea recurred despite dose reduction.

Promptly initiate management of diarrhea. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity. 

Fistula Formation and Gastrointestinal Perforation.  Of the 799 patients treated with LENVIMA or LENVIMA + everolimus in DTC, RCC, and HCC, fistula or gastrointestinal perforation occurred in 2%. Fistulas and gastrointestinal perforations have also been reported in other lenvatinib clinical trials and in post-marketing experience. Pneumothorax has been reported with and without clear evidence of a bronchopleural fistula. Some reports of gastrointestinal perforation, fistula, and pneumothorax occurred in association with tumor regression or necrosis. In most cases of fistula formation or gastrointestinal perforation, risk factors such as prior surgery or radiotherapy were present.

Permanently discontinue in patients who develop gastrointestinal perforation of any severity or grade 3-4 fistula.

QT Interval Prolongation.  In DTC, QT/QTc interval prolongation occurred in 9% of LENVIMA-treated patients and QT interval prolongation of >500 ms occurred in 2%. In RCC, QTc interval increases of >60 ms occurred in 11% of patients receiving LENVIMA + everolimus and QTc interval >500 ms occurred in 6%. In HCC, QTc interval increases of >60 ms occurred in 8% of LENVIMA-treated patients and QTc interval >500 ms occurred in 2%.

Monitor and correct electrolyte abnormalities at baseline and periodically during treatment. Monitor electrocardiograms in patients with congenital long QT syndrome, congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, or those who are taking drugs known to prolong the QT interval, including Class Ia and III antiarrhythmics. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery based on severity.

Hypocalcemia.  In DTC, grade 3-4 hypocalcemia occurred in 9% of LENVIMA-treated patients. In 65% of cases, hypocalcemia improved or resolved following calcium supplementation with or without dose interruption or dose reduction. In RCC, grade 3-4 hypocalcemia occurred in 6% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients. In HCC, grade 3 hypocalcemia occurred in 0.8% of LENVIMA-treated patients.

Monitor blood calcium levels at least monthly and replace calcium as necessary during treatment. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue depending on severity.

Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome.  Across clinical studies of 1,823 patients who received LENVIMA as a single agent, RPLS occurred in 0.3%. Confirm diagnosis of RPLS with MRI. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue depending on severity and persistence of neurologic symptoms.

Hemorrhagic Events.  Serious including fatal hemorrhagic events can occur with LENVIMA. In DTC, RCC, and HCC clinical trials, hemorrhagic events, of any grade, occurred in 29% of the 799 patients treated with LENVIMA as a single agent or in combination with everolimus. The most frequently reported hemorrhagic events (all grades and occurring in at least 5% of patients) were epistaxis and hematuria. In DTC, grade 3-5 hemorrhage occurred in 2% of LENVIMA-treated patients, including 1 fatal intracranial hemorrhage among 16 patients who received LENVIMA and had CNS metastases at baseline. In RCC, grade 3-5 hemorrhage occurred in 8% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients, including 1 fatal cerebral hemorrhage. In HCC, grade 3-5 hemorrhage occurred in 5% of LENVIMA-treated patients, including 7 fatal hemorrhagic events.

Serious tumor-related bleeds, including fatal hemorrhagic events, occurred in LENVIMA-treated patients in clinical trials and in the postmarketing setting. In postmarketing surveillance, serious and fatal carotid artery hemorrhages were seen more frequently in patients with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) than other tumors. Safety and effectiveness of LENVIMA in patients with ATC have not been demonstrated in clinical trials.

Consider the risk of severe or fatal hemorrhage associated with tumor invasion or infiltration of major blood vessels (eg, carotid artery). Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Impairment of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Suppression/Thyroid Dysfunction.  LENVIMA impairs exogenous thyroid suppression. In DTC, 88% of patients had baseline thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level ≤0.5 mU/L. In patients with normal TSH at baseline, elevation of TSH level >0.5 mU/L was observed post baseline in 57% of LENVIMA-treated patients. In RCC and HCC, grade 1 or 2 hypothyroidism occurred in 24% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients and 21% of LENVIMA-treated patients, respectively. In patients with normal or low TSH at baseline, elevation of TSH was observed post baseline in 70% of LENVIMA-treated patients in HCC and 60% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients in RCC.

Monitor thyroid function prior to initiation and at least monthly during treatment. Treat hypothyroidism according to standard medical practice.

Wound Healing Complications.  Wound healing complications, including fistula formation and wound dehiscence, can occur with LENVIMA. Withhold for at least 6 days prior to scheduled surgery. Resume after surgery based on clinical judgment of adequate wound healing. Permanently discontinue in patients with wound healing complications.

Embryo-fetal Toxicity.  Based on its mechanism of action and data from animal reproduction studies, LENVIMA can cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. In animal reproduction studies, oral administration of lenvatinib during organogenesis at doses below the recommended clinical doses resulted in embryotoxicity, fetotoxicity, and teratogenicity in rats and rabbits. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus; and advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with LENVIMA and for at least 30 days after the last dose.

Adverse Reactions

In DTC, the most common adverse reactions (≥30%) observed in LENVIMA-treated patients were hypertension (73%), fatigue (67%), diarrhea (67%), arthralgia/myalgia (62%), decreased appetite (54%), decreased weight (51%), nausea (47%), stomatitis (41%), headache (38%), vomiting (36%), proteinuria (34%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (32%), abdominal pain (31%), and dysphonia (31%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were pneumonia (4%), hypertension (3%), and dehydration (3%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions in 68% of LENVIMA-treated patients; 18% discontinued LENVIMA. The most common adverse reactions (≥10%) resulting in dose reductions were hypertension (13%), proteinuria (11%), decreased appetite (10%), and diarrhea (10%); the most common adverse reactions (≥1%) resulting in discontinuation of LENVIMA were hypertension (1%) and asthenia (1%).

In RCC, the most common adverse reactions (≥30%) observed in LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients were diarrhea (81%), fatigue (73%), arthralgia/myalgia (55%), decreased appetite (53%), vomiting (48%), nausea (45%), stomatitis (44%), hypertension (42%), peripheral edema (42%), cough (37%), abdominal pain (37%), dyspnea (35%), rash (35%), decreased weight (34%), hemorrhagic events (32%), and proteinuria (31%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥5%) were renal failure (11%), dehydration (10%), anemia (6%), thrombocytopenia (5%), diarrhea (5%), vomiting (5%), and dyspnea (5%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions or interruption in 89% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) resulting in dose reductions were diarrhea (21%), fatigue (8%), thrombocytopenia (6%), vomiting (6%), nausea (5%), and proteinuria (5%). Treatment discontinuation due to an adverse reaction occurred in 29% of patients.

In HCC, the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) observed in LENVIMA-treated patients were hypertension (45%), fatigue (44%), diarrhea (39%), decreased appetite (34%), arthralgia/myalgia (31%), decreased weight (31%), abdominal pain (30%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (27%), proteinuria (26%), dysphonia (24%), hemorrhagic events (23%), hypothyroidism (21%), and nausea (20%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were hepatic encephalopathy (5%), hepatic failure (3%), ascites (3%), and decreased appetite (2%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions or interruption in 62% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) resulting in dose reductions were fatigue (9%), decreased appetite (8%), diarrhea (8%), proteinuria (7%), hypertension (6%), and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (5%). Treatment discontinuation due to an adverse reaction occurred in 20% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥1%) resulting in discontinuation of LENVIMA were fatigue (1%), hepatic encephalopathy (2%), hyperbilirubinemia (1%), and hepatic failure (1%).

Use in Specific Populations
Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants, advise women to discontinue breastfeeding during treatment and for at least 1 week after last dose. LENVIMA may impair fertility in males and females of reproductive potential.

No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with mild (CLcr 60-89 mL/min) or moderate (CLcr 30-59 mL/min) renal impairment. LENVIMA concentrations may increase in patients with DTC or RCC and severe (CLcr 15-29 mL/min) renal impairment. Reduce the dose for patients with RCC or DTC and severe renal impairment. There is no recommended dose for patients with HCC and severe renal impairment. LENVIMA has not been studied in patients with end stage renal disease.

No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with HCC and mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh A).

There is no recommended dose for patients with HCC with moderate (Child-Pugh B) or severe (Childs-Pugh C) hepatic impairment.

No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with DTC or RCC and mild or moderate hepatic impairment. LENVIMA concentrations may increase in patients with DTC or RCC and severe hepatic impairment. Reduce the dose for patients with DTC or RCC and severe hepatic impairment.

For more information about LENVIMA please see available full Prescribing Information.

About the Eisai and Merck Strategic Collaboration
In March 2018, Eisai and Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, through an affiliate, entered into a strategic collaboration for the worldwide co-development and co-commercialization of LENVIMA. Under the agreement, the companies will jointly develop and commercialize LENVIMA, both as monotherapy and in combination with Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy. In addition to ongoing clinical studies of the combination, the companies will jointly initiate new clinical studies evaluating the combination to support 11 potential indications in six types of cancer (bladder cancer, endometrial cancer, head and neck cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, melanoma, and non-small cell lung cancer), as well as a basket trial targeting six additional cancer types. The combination is not approved in any cancer types today.

About Eisai Inc.
At Eisai Inc., human health care (hhc) is our goal. We give our first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., we have a passionate commitment to patient care that is the driving force behind our efforts to discover and develop innovative therapies to help address unmet medical needs.

Eisai is a fully integrated pharmaceutical business that operates in two global business groups: oncology and neurology (dementia-related diseases and neurodegenerative diseases). Each group functions as an end-to-end global business with discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Our U.S. headquarters, commercial and clinical development organizations are located in New Jersey; our discovery labs are in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania; and our global demand chain organization resides in Maryland and North Carolina. To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at eisai.com/us.

KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A.

LENVIMA® is a registered trademark used by Eisai Inc. under license from Eisai R&D Management Co., Ltd.

SOURCE Eisai Inc.

For further information: Media Inquiries, Michele Randazzo, Eisai Inc., (201) 746-2979


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