Carfilzomib receives approval for once-weekly dosing


Photo courtesy of Amgen

Carfilzomib (Kyprolis)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved carfilzomib (Kyprolis) for a once-weekly dosing option in combination with dexamethasone for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM).

Carfilzomib administered once-weekly at 70 mg/m2 with dexamethasone achieved a superior progression-free survival (PFS) and overall response rates (ORR) compared to twice-weekly carfilzomib at doses of 27 mg/m2.

Carfilzomib is not, however, approved for the twice-weekly 27 mg/m2 dose with dexamethasone alone, but with dexamethasone and lenalidomide.

The FDA based its approval on data from the phase 3 ARROW trial.

The FDA reviewed and approved the supplemental New Drug Application under its Oncology Center of Excellence Real-Time Oncology Review and Assessment Aid pilot program. The program is exploring a more efficient review process to ensure that safe and effective treatments are available to patients as soon as possible.

The FDA approved the carfilzomib application in just over a month.


The ARROW study, reported at the 2018 ASCO annual meeting and published in The Lancet, evaluated 478 patients with relapsed or refractory MM who had received at least two but no more than three prior therapies. Prior therapies could include bortezomib and an immunomodulatory drug.

Patients randomized to the investigational arm receive a 30-minute infusion of once-weekly carfilzomib (20 mg/m2 on day 1 of cycle 1; 70 mg/m2 on days 8 and 15 of cycle 1; and 70 mg/m2 on days 1, 8 and 15 of subsequent cycles) with 40 mg of dexamethasone.

Patients randomized to the comparator arm received a 10-minute infusion of twice-weekly carfilzomib (20 mg/m2 on days 1 and 2 of cycle 1; 27 mg/m2 on days 8, 9, 15 and 16 of cycle 1; and 27 mg/m2 on days 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 of subsequent cycles) with 40 mg of dexamethasone.

Patients in the once-weekly arm achieved a statistically significant 3.7-month improvement in PFS compared to the twice-weekly regimen. Median PFS was 11.2 months for the once-weekly patients and 7.6 months for the twice-weekly group (P=0.0014).

Patients in the once-weekly group had a 62.9% ORR compared to 40.8% for those treated twice weekly (P<0.0001).

More patients (7.1%) in the once-weekly group had complete responses or better than those in the twice-weekly arm (1.7%).

The safety profile of the two arms were comparable, with no new safety risks identified in the once-weekly arm.

Treatment-emergent adverse events occurring in 20% or more patients in either arm included anemia, diarrhea, fatigue, hypertension, insomnia, and pyrexia.

First approved in 2012, carfilzomib has indications for the following in the U.S.:

  • Treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received one to three lines of therapy in combination with dexamethasone or with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone.
  • As a single agent for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received one or more lines of therapy.

Amgen manufactures carfilzomib for Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Prescribing information for carfilzomib is available online.

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