FOSTER CITY, Calif. & SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), today announced that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion on the company’s Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Yescarta® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) as a treatment for adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), after two or more lines of systemic therapy.
Axicabtagene ciloleucel is a chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy that modifies a patient’s own T cells to recognize and attack cancer cells and has the potential to induce complete responses (no detectable cancer) in a proportion of patients with aggressive forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Axicabtagene ciloleucel was granted PRIME status by the EMA in May 2016.
The CHMP positive opinion was adopted following review by European Union (EU) regulators, including the Committee for Advanced Therapies and the CHMP. The recommendation will now be reviewed by the European Commission (EC), which has the authority to approve medicines for use in the 28 countries of the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
“This CHMP positive opinion is an important milestone for those patients in the European Union living with DLBCL or PMBCL,” said Alessandro Riva, MD, Gilead’s Executive Vice President, Oncology Therapeutics & Head, Cell Therapy. “The recommendation brings axicabtagene ciloleucel one step closer to adult patients who currently have few or no treatment options available to them and we are focused on providing access to this innovative treatment as quickly as possible.”
The MAA is supported by data from the ZUMA-1 trial of axicabtagene ciloleucel in adult patients with refractory aggressive NHL. In the single-arm trial, 72 percent of patients (n=73/101) who received a single infusion of axicabtagene ciloleucel responded to therapy with 51 percent (n=52/101) achieving a complete response (as assessed by an independent review committee, median follow up of 15.1 months). Grade 3 or higher adverse events reported during ZUMA-1 included, but were not restricted to, cytokine release syndrome (CRS), neurologic events and cytopenias.
DLBCL is the most common form of NHL and represents an area of significant unmet need. The prognosis for patients with refractory DLBCL is very poor, with a median survival of just six months. Across the EU in 2018, there are an estimated 7,700 patients with DLBCL who are refractory to, or have relapsed after, two or more lines of therapy, and may be eligible for CAR T therapy.
Axicabtagene ciloleucel was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on October 18, 2017. In the EU, axicabtagene ciloleucel is an investigational product and its efficacy and safety have not been established.
Kite, a Gilead Company, is a biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California. Kite is engaged in the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies. The company is focused on chimeric antigen receptor and T cell receptor engineered cell therapies. For more information on Kite, please visit www.kitepharma.com.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California. For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company’s website at www.gilead.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the risk that the European Commission may not approve axicabtagene ciloleucel in the currently anticipated timelines or at all, and any marketing approval, if granted, may have significant limitations on its use. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks are described in detail in Gilead’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2018, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead and Kite, and Gilead and Kite assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.
Yescarta is a registered trademark of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies.
For more information on Kite, please visit the company’s website at www.kitepharma.com. Learn more about Gilead at www.gilead.com, follow Gilead on Twitter (@GileadSciences) or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or 1-650-574-3000.