Massachusetts : BeiGene announced that the Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE) of the China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has accepted a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab in combination with chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC).
“Treatment options for NPC, one of the most common head and neck cancers in China and many parts of Asia, are limited, with chemotherapy continuing to dominate front-line care. Supported by the positive RATIONALE 309 trial, the NMPA acceptance of this sBLA, which is the ninth for tislelizumab in China, represents an incredible milestone in its development history and serves as a validation of this potentially differentiated checkpoint inhibitor,” commented Yong (Ben) Ben, M.D., chief medical officer, Immuno-Oncology at BeiGene. “We look forward to bringing this important immunotherapy to the underserved NPC patient community in China," Ben added.
The sBLA is supported by clinical results from a randomized, double-blind, phase 3 clinical trial RATIONALE 309 to evaluate the efficacy and safety of tislelizumab combined with gemcitabine and cisplatin versus placebo combined with gemcitabine and cisplatin as a first-line treatment for patients with recurrent or metastatic NPC.
The primary endpoint of this trial is progression-free survival (PFS) as assessed by independent review committee (IRC) in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population; secondary endpoints include overall survival (OS), IRC-assessed overall response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DoR), and investigator-assessed PFS. A total of 263 Asian patients were enrolled and randomized 1:1 to either the tislelizumab plus chemotherapy arm or the placebo plus chemotherapy arm.
Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is a malignant, squamous cell carcinoma which arises from the epithelial cells of the nasopharynx, most commonly originating in the pharyngeal recess (the fossa of Rosenmüller). There were an estimated 62,555 new cases of NPC in China in 2020, accounting for 46.8 percent of the worldwide incidence.
Despite the heavy public health burden of NPC in southern China and other endemic areas, relatively little is known about the etiology and prevention of NPC. The major risk factors for NPC are genetic predisposition, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, and consumption of salt-preserved food.
Tislelizumab (BGB-A317) is a humanized IgG4 anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody specifically designed to minimize binding to Fc?R on macrophages. In pre-clinical studies, binding to Fc?R on macrophages has been shown to compromise the anti-tumor activity of PD-1 antibodies through activation of antibody-dependent macrophage-mediated killing of T effector cells. Tislelizumab is the first drug from BeiGene’s immuno-oncology biologics program and is being developed internationally as a monotherapy and in combination with other therapies for the treatment of a broad array of both solid tumor and hematologic cancers.
The China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has granted tislelizumab approval in five indications, including full approval for first-line treatment of patients with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with chemotherapy and for first-line treatment of patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC in combination with chemotherapy; and conditional approval for the treatment of patients with classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL) who received at least two prior therapies, for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC) with PD-L1 high expression whose disease progressed during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy, and for the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have received at least one systemic therapy.