News from the FDA/CDC

Genentech submits sNDA for venetoclax in untreated AML


A supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for venetoclax (Venclexta) used in combination with either a hypomethylating agent or low-dose cytarabine (LDAC) for previously untreated acute myeloid leukemia has been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration by Genentech, which developed it.

Specifically, the sNDA is for these drug combinations in the treatment of AML patients ineligible for intensive chemotherapy, according to the announcement from Genentech.

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The sNDA is based on results of two trials that included patients in this population. In the phase 1b M14-358 (NCT02203773), venetoclax was combined with either azacitidine or decitabine; patients treated with 400 mg of venetoclax had a complete remission rate of 73%, and the median overall survival across all doses of venetoclax was 17.5 months. Low white blood cell count with fever, low white blood cell count, anemia, low platelet count, and decreased potassium levels were the most common grade 3/4 adverse events (occurring in 10% or more of patients). In the phase 1b/2 study M14-387 (NCT02287233), venetoclax was used in combination with LDAC; patients treated with a 600-mg dose of venetoclax showed a complete response rate of 62%, and a median overall survival of 11.4 months. Low white blood cell count with fever, decreased potassium levels, pneumonia, disease progression, decreased phosphate levels, high blood pressure, and sepsis were the most common grade 3/4 adverse events seen in this study.

This sNDA follows FDA breakthrough therapy designations, based on these same trials, for these uses of venetoclax with either hypomethylating agents or LDAC. The FDA also recently approved venetoclax in combination with rituximab (Rituxan) for treatment of patients who have chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma, with or without 17p depletion, and have been treated with at least one prior therapy.

“AML is an aggressive disease with the lowest survival rate of all leukemias, and we look forward to working closely with the FDA to bring this potential option to patients with this very difficult-to-treat blood cancer as soon as possible,” said Sandra Horning, MD, chief medical officer at Genentech.

More information is included in the full release.

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