Zanubrutinib receives breakthrough designation for MCL


The Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation to zanubrutinib as a treatment for adults with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) who have received at least one prior therapy.

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Zanubrutinib (BGB-3111) is a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor being developed by BeiGene as a potential treatment for B-cell malignancies.

Researchers have evaluated zanubrutinib in a phase 2 trial (NCT03206970) of patients with relapsed/refractory MCL. Results from this trial were presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (Abstract 148).

As of March 27, 2018, 86 patients had been enrolled in the trial and received treatment. They had a median of two prior lines of therapy and they received zanubrutinib at 160 mg twice daily.

Eighty-five patients were evaluable for efficacy. The overall response rate was 83.5% (71/85), and the complete response rate was 58.8% (50/85). At a median follow-up of 24.1 weeks, the median duration of response and median progression-free survival had not been reached. The estimated 24-week progression-free survival rate was 82%. The most common adverse events (AEs) in this trial were decrease in neutrophil count (31.4%), rash (29.1%), upper respiratory tract infection (29.1%), and decrease in platelet count (22.1%). Common grade 3 or higher AEs included neutrophil count decrease (11.6%) and lung infection (5.8%).

Four patients had fatal treatment-emergent AEs. One death was caused by a traffic accident, one was due to cerebral hemorrhage, and one resulted from pneumonia. The fourth death occurred in a patient with infection, but the cause of death was unknown.

Breakthrough therapy designation is designed to expedite the development and review of a therapy for a serious or life-threatening disease, following preliminary clinical evidence indicating it demonstrates substantial improvement over existing therapies.

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