ENHERTU® (fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki) approved in the US as the first HER2-directed therapy for patients with HER2-low metastatic breast cancer

Based on DESTINY-Breast04 results which showed AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s ENHERTU reduced risk of disease progression or death by 50% and increased overall survival by more than six months versus chemotherapy

WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s ENHERTU® (fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki) has been approved in the US for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-low (IHC 1+ or IHC 2+/ISH-) breast cancer who have received a prior chemotherapy in the metastatic setting or developed disease recurrence during or within six months of completing adjuvant chemotherapy.


ENHERTU is a specifically engineered HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate (ADC) being jointly developed and commercialized by AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo.

The approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was based on the results from the DESTINY-Breast04 Phase III trial. In the trial, ENHERTU reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 50% versus physician’s choice of chemotherapy in patients with HER2-low metastatic breast cancer with hormone receptor (HR)-positive disease or HR-negative disease (median progression-free survival [PFS] 9.9 versus 5.1 months; hazard ratio [HR] 0.50; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.40-0.63; p<0.0001). A median overall survival (OS) of 23.4 months was seen in patients treated with ENHERTU versus 16.8 months in those treated with chemotherapy, a 36% reduction in the risk of death (HR 0.64; 95% CI 0.49-0.84; p=0.001).

Shanu Modi, MD, Medical Oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, US, said: “Approximately half of all patients with breast cancer have tumors that are HER2-low, which have previously been classified as HER2-negative and have not had effective treatment options with HER2-targeted medicines. Based on the promising results of the DESTINY-Breast04 trial, clinicians are starting to differentiate levels of HER2 expression and redefine how metastatic breast cancer is classified with a distinct HER2-low patient population that may be eligible for trastuzumab deruxtecan.”

Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, AstraZeneca, said: “The rapid approval of ENHERTU in HER2-low metastatic breast cancer by the FDA underscores the urgency to bring this transformational medicine to patients as quickly as possible. Patients with HER2-low tumors, who are identified through existing HER2 testing methods, will now have the opportunity to be treated based upon their HER2 status.”

Ken Keller, Global Head of Oncology Business and President and CEO, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc, said: “Today’s FDA approval marks a monumental moment in breast cancer treatment as ENHERTU is the first-ever HER2-directed medicine to be approved for the treatment of patients with HER2-low metastatic breast cancer. With the ground-breaking survival benefit seen in the DESTINY-Breast04 trial, this milestone confirms the importance of targeting lower levels of HER2 expression in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and we are thrilled that we can now offer ENHERTU to even more patients.”

The approval was granted under the FDA’s Real-Time Oncology Review program after securing Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy Designation of ENHERTU in the US in this setting. The expanded approval for ENHERTU in the US, following its previous approval in 2nd-line HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, enables its use across a wide-spectrum of HER2-expressing breast cancer, including patients with HER2-low disease.

The DESTINY-Breast04 Phase III trial results were presented at the presidential plenary session of the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual meeting and simultaneously published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).1

The safety profile of ENHERTU was consistent with previous clinical trials with no new safety concerns identified. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) or pneumonitis rates were consistent with those observed in late-line HER2-positive breast cancer trials of ENHERTU. Overall, 12% of patients had confirmed ILD or pneumonitis related to treatment as determined by an independent adjudication committee. The majority of ILD events were Grade 1 or 2 (10%), with five Grade 3 (1.3%) and no Grade 4 events reported. There were three (0.8%) ILD-related deaths (Grade 5).

In June 2022, fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki (ENHERTU) was added to the NCCN Clinical Practical Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) as the Category 1 preferred regimen for patients with tumors that are HER2 IHC 1+ or 2+ and ISH- who have received at least one prior line of chemotherapy for metastatic disease and, if tumor is HR-positive, are refractory to endocrine therapy, based on the data from DESTINY-Breast04.2

The US regulatory submission for DESTINY-Breast04 was reviewed under Project Orbis, which provides a framework for concurrent submission and review of oncology medicines among participating international partners. As part of Project Orbis, ENHERTU is also under regulatory review for the same indication by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA), Health Canada and Switzerland’s Swissmedic.

Regulatory applications for ENHERTU are also currently under review in Europe, Japan and several other countries based on the DESTINY-Breast04 results.

U.S. Important Safety Information for ENHERTU

Indications 
ENHERTU is a HER2-directed antibody and topoisomerase inhibitor conjugate indicated for the treatment of adult patients with:

  • Unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received a prior anti-HER2-based regimen either:
    – In the metastatic setting, or
    – In the neoadjuvant or adjuvant setting and have developed disease recurrence during or within six months of completing therapy

  • Unresectable or metastatic HER2-low (IHC 1+ or IHC 2+/ISH-) breast cancer who have received a prior chemotherapy in the metastatic setting or developed disease recurrence during or within 6 months of completing adjuvant chemotherapy

  • Locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma who have received a prior trastuzumab-based regimen

 

WARNING: INTERSTITIAL LUNG DISEASE and EMBRYO-FETAL TOXICITY

  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD) and pneumonitis, including fatal cases, have been reported with ENHERTU. Monitor for and promptly investigate signs and symptoms including cough, dyspnea, fever, and other new or worsening respiratory symptoms. Permanently discontinue ENHERTU in all patients with Grade 2 or higher ILD/pneumonitis. Advise patients of the risk and to immediately report symptoms.
  • Exposure to ENHERTU during pregnancy can cause embryo-fetal harm. Advise patients of these risks and the need for effective contraception.

Contraindications 
None.

Warnings and Precautions 
Interstitial Lung Disease / Pneumonitis 
Severe, life-threatening, or fatal interstitial lung disease (ILD), including pneumonitis, can occur in patients treated with ENHERTU. Advise patients to immediately report cough, dyspnea, fever, and/or any new or worsening respiratory symptoms. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of ILD. Promptly investigate evidence of ILD. Evaluate patients with suspected ILD by radiographic imaging. Consider consultation with a pulmonologist. For asymptomatic ILD/pneumonitis (Grade 1), interrupt ENHERTU until resolved to Grade 0, then if resolved in ≤28 days from date of onset, maintain dose. If resolved in >28 days from date of onset, reduce dose one level. Consider corticosteroid treatment as soon as ILD/pneumonitis is suspected (e.g., ≥0.5 mg/kg/day prednisolone or equivalent). For symptomatic ILD/pneumonitis (Grade 2 or greater), permanently discontinue ENHERTU. Promptly initiate systemic corticosteroid treatment as soon as ILD/pneumonitis is suspected (e.g., ≥1 mg/kg/day prednisolone or equivalent) and continue for at least 14 days followed by gradual taper for at least 4 weeks.

Metastatic Breast Cancer and HER2-Mutant Solid Tumors (5.4 mg/kg)
In patients with metastatic breast cancer and other solid tumors treated with ENHERTU 5.4 mg/kg, ILD occurred in 12% of patients. Fatal outcomes due to ILD and/or pneumonitis occurred in 1.0% of patients treated with ENHERTU. Median time to first onset was 5 months (range: 0.9 to 23).

Locally Advanced or Metastatic Gastric Cancer (6.4 mg/kg)
In patients with locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastric or GEJ adenocarcinoma treated with ENHERTU 6.4 mg/kg, ILD occurred in 10% of patients. Median time to first onset was 2.8 months (range: 1.2 to 21.0).

Neutropenia
Severe neutropenia, including febrile neutropenia, can occur in patients treated with ENHERTU. Monitor complete blood counts prior to initiation of ENHERTU and prior to each dose, and as clinically indicated. For Grade 3 neutropenia (Absolute Neutrophil Count [ANC] <1.0 to 0.5 x 109/L), interrupt ENHERTU until resolved to Grade 2 or less, then maintain dose. For Grade 4 neutropenia (ANC <0.5 x 109/L), interrupt ENHERTU until resolved to Grade 2 or less, then reduce dose by one level. For febrile neutropenia (ANC <1.0 x 109/L and temperature >38.3º C or a sustained temperature of ≥38º C for more than 1 hour), interrupt ENHERTU until resolved, then reduce dose by one level.

Metastatic Breast Cancer and HER2-Mutant Solid Tumors (5.4 mg/kg)
In patients with metastatic breast cancer and other solid tumors treated with ENHERTU 5.4 mg/kg, a decrease in neutrophil count was reported in 65% of patients. Sixteen percent had Grade 3 or 4 decreased neutrophil count. Median time to first onset of decreased neutrophil count was 22 days (range: 2 to 664). Febrile neutropenia was reported in 1.1% of patients.

Locally Advanced or Metastatic Gastric Cancer (6.4 mg/kg)
In patients with locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastric or GEJ adenocarcinoma treated with ENHERTU 6.4 mg/kg, a decrease in neutrophil count was reported in 72% of patients. Fifty-one percent had Grade 3 or 4 decreased neutrophil count. Median time to first onset of decreased neutrophil count was 16 days (range: 4 to 187). Febrile neutropenia was reported in 4.8% of patients.

Left Ventricular Dysfunction
Patients treated with ENHERTU may be at increased risk of developing left ventricular dysfunction. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) decrease has been observed with anti-HER2 therapies, including ENHERTU.
Assess LVEF prior to initiation of ENHERTU and at regular intervals during treatment as clinically indicated. Manage LVEF decrease through treatment interruption. When LVEF is >45% and absolute decrease from baseline is 10-20%, continue treatment with ENHERTU. When LVEF is 40-45% and absolute decrease from baseline is <10%, continue treatment with ENHERTU and repeat LVEF assessment within 3 weeks. When LVEF is 40-45% and absolute decrease from baseline is 10-20%, interrupt ENHERTU and repeat LVEF assessment within 3 weeks. If LVEF has not recovered to within 10% from baseline, permanently discontinue ENHERTU. If LVEF recovers to within 10% from baseline, resume treatment with ENHERTU at the same dose. When LVEF is <40% or absolute decrease from baseline is >20%, interrupt ENHERTU and repeat LVEF assessment within 3 weeks. If LVEF of <40% or absolute decrease from baseline of >20% is confirmed, permanently discontinue ENHERTU. Permanently discontinue ENHERTU in patients with symptomatic congestive heart failure. Treatment with ENHERTU has not been studied in patients with a history of clinically significant cardiac disease or LVEF <50% prior to initiation of treatment.

Metastatic Breast Cancer and HER2-Mutant Solid Tumors (5.4 mg/kg)
In patients with metastatic breast cancer and other solid tumors treated with ENHERTU 5.4 mg/kg, LVEF decrease was reported in 3.6% of patients, of which 0.4% were Grade 3.

Locally Advanced or Metastatic Gastric Cancer (6.4 mg/kg)
In patients with locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastric or GEJ adenocarcinoma treated with ENHERTU 6.4 mg/kg, no clinical adverse events of heart failure were reported; however, on echocardiography, 8% were found to have asymptomatic Grade 2 decrease in LVEF.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity
ENHERTU can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise patients of the potential risks to a fetus. Verify the pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to the initiation of ENHERTU. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 7 months following the last dose of ENHERTU. Advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with ENHERTU and for at least 4 months after the last dose of ENHERTU.

Additional Dose Modifications
Thrombocytopenia
For Grade 3 thrombocytopenia (platelets <50 to 25 x 109/L) interrupt ENHERTU until resolved to Grade 1 or less, then maintain dose. For Grade 4 thrombocytopenia (platelets <25 x 109/L) interrupt ENHERTU until resolved to Grade 1 or less, then reduce dose by one level.

Adverse Reactions
Metastatic Breast Cancer and HER2-Mutant Solid Tumors (5.4 mg/kg)
The pooled safety population reflects exposure to ENHERTU 5.4 mg/kg intravenously every 3 weeks in 984 patients in Study DS8201-A-J101 (NCT02564900), DESTINY-Breast01, DESTINY-Breast03, DESTINY-Breast04, and NCT04644237. Among these patients 65% were exposed for >6 months and 39% were exposed for >1 year. In this pooled safety population, the most common (≥20%) adverse reactions, including laboratory abnormalities, were nausea (76%), decreased white blood cell count (71%), decreased hemoglobin (66%), decreased neutrophil count (65%), decreased lymphocyte count (55%), fatigue (54%), decreased platelet count (47%), increased aspartate aminotransferase (48%), vomiting (44%), increased alanine aminotransferase (42%), alopecia (39%), increased blood alkaline phosphatase (39%), constipation (34%), musculoskeletal pain (32%), decreased appetite (32%), hypokalemia (28%), diarrhea (28%), and respiratory infection (24%).

Metastatic Breast Cancer
DESTINY-Breast03
The safety of ENHERTU was evaluated in 257 patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who received at least one dose of ENHERTU 5.4 mg/kg intravenously every three weeks in DESTINY-Breast03. The median duration of treatment was 14 months (range: 0.7 to 30).

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 19% of patients receiving ENHERTU. Serious adverse reactions in >1% of patients who received ENHERTU were vomiting, interstitial lung disease, pneumonia, pyrexia, and urinary tract infection. Fatalities due to adverse reactions occurred in 0.8% of patients including COVID-19 and sudden death (one patient each).

ENHERTU was permanently discontinued in 14% of patients, of which ILD/pneumonitis accounted for 8%. Dose interruptions due to adverse reactions occurred in 44% of patients treated with ENHERTU. The most frequent adverse reactions (>2%) associated with dose interruption were neutropenia, leukopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, pneumonia, nausea, fatigue, and ILD/pneumonitis. Dose reductions occurred in 21% of patients treated with ENHERTU. The most frequent adverse reactions (>2%) associated with dose reduction were nausea, neutropenia, and fatigue.

The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions, including laboratory abnormalities, were nausea (76%), decreased white blood cell count (74%), decreased neutrophil count (70%), increased aspartate aminotransferase (67%), decreased hemoglobin (64%), decreased lymphocyte count (55%), increased alanine aminotransferase (53%), decreased platelet count (52%), fatigue (49%), vomiting (49%), increased blood alkaline phosphatase (49%), alopecia (37%), hypokalemia (35%), constipation (34%), musculoskeletal pain (31%), diarrhea (29%), decreased appetite (29%), respiratory infection (22%), headache (22%), abdominal pain (21%), increased blood bilirubin (20%), and stomatitis (20%).

HER2-Low Metastatic Breast Cancer
DESTINY-Breast04
The safety of ENHERTU was evaluated in 371 patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-low (IHC 1+ or IHC 2+/ISH-) breast cancer who received ENHERTU 5.4 mg/kg intravenously every 3 weeks in DESTINY-Breast04. The median duration of treatment was 8 months (range: 0.2 to 33) for patients who received ENHERTU.

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 28% of patients receiving ENHERTU. Serious adverse reactions in >1% of patients who received ENHERTU were ILD/pneumonitis, pneumonia, dyspnea, musculoskeletal pain, sepsis, anemia, febrile neutropenia, hypercalcemia, nausea, pyrexia, and vomiting. Fatalities due to adverse reactions occurred in 4% of patients including ILD/pneumonitis (3 patients); sepsis (2 patients); and ischemic colitis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, dyspnea, febrile neutropenia, general physical health deterioration, pleural effusion, and respiratory failure (1 patient each).

ENHERTU was permanently discontinued in 16% of patients, of which ILD/pneumonitis accounted for 8%. Dose interruptions due to adverse reactions occurred in 39% of patients treated with ENHERTU. The most frequent adverse reactions (>2%) associated with dose interruption were neutropenia, fatigue, anemia, leukopenia, COVID-19, ILD/pneumonitis, increased transaminases, and hyperbilirubinemia. Dose reductions occurred in 23% of patients treated with ENHERTU. The most frequent adverse reactions (>2%) associated with dose reduction were fatigue, nausea, thrombocytopenia, and neutropenia.

The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions, including laboratory abnormalities, were nausea (76%), decreased white blood cell count (70%), decreased hemoglobin (64%), decreased neutrophil count (64%), decreased lymphocyte count (55%), fatigue (54%), decreased platelet count (44%), alopecia (40%), vomiting (40%), increased aspartate aminotransferase (38%), increased alanine aminotransferase (36%), constipation (34%), increased blood alkaline phosphatase (34%), decreased appetite (32%), musculoskeletal pain (32%), diarrhea (27%), and hypokalemia (25%).

Locally Advanced or Metastatic Gastric Cancer (6.4 mg/kg)
The safety of ENHERTU was evaluated in 187 patients with locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastric or GEJ adenocarcinoma in DESTINY-Gastric01. Patients intravenously received at least one dose of either ENHERTU (N=125) 6.4 mg/kg every 3 weeks or either irinotecan (N=55) 150 mg/m2 biweekly or paclitaxel (N=7) 80 mg/m2 weekly for 3 weeks. The median duration of treatment was 4.6 months (range: 0.7 to 22.3) for patients who received ENHERTU.

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 44% of patients receiving ENHERTU 6.4 mg/kg. Serious adverse reactions in >2% of patients who received ENHERTU were decreased appetite, ILD, anemia, dehydration, pneumonia, cholestatic jaundice, pyrexia, and tumor hemorrhage. Fatalities due to adverse reactions occurred in 2.4% of patients: disseminated intravascular coagulation, large intestine perforation, and pneumonia occurred in one patient each (0.8%).

ENHERTU was permanently discontinued in 15% of patients, of which ILD accounted for 6%. Dose interruptions due to adverse reactions occurred in 62% of patients treated with ENHERTU. The most frequent adverse reactions (>2%) associated with dose interruption were neutropenia, anemia, decreased appetite, leukopenia, fatigue, thrombocytopenia, ILD, pneumonia, lymphopenia, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, and hypokalemia. Dose reductions occurred in 32% of patients treated with ENHERTU. The most frequent adverse reactions (>2%) associated with dose reduction were neutropenia, decreased appetite, fatigue, nausea, and febrile neutropenia.

The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions, including laboratory abnormalities, were decreased hemoglobin (75%), decreased white blood cell count (74%), decreased neutrophil count (72%), decreased lymphocyte count (70%), decreased platelet count (68%), nausea (63%), decreased appetite (60%), increased aspartate aminotransferase (58%), fatigue (55%), increased blood alkaline phosphatase (54%), increased alanine aminotransferase (47%), diarrhea (32%), hypokalemia (30%), vomiting (26%), constipation (24%), increased blood bilirubin (24%), pyrexia (24%), and alopecia (22%).

Use in Specific Populations

  • Pregnancy: ENHERTU can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise patients of the potential risks to a fetus. There are clinical considerations if ENHERTU is used in pregnant women, or if a patient becomes pregnant within 7 months following the last dose of ENHERTU.
  • Lactation: There are no data regarding the presence of ENHERTU in human milk, the effects on the breastfed child, or the effects on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in a breastfed child, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with ENHERTU and for 7 months after the last dose.
  • Females and Males of Reproductive Potential: Pregnancy testing: Verify pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to initiation of ENHERTU. Contraception: Females: ENHERTU can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with ENHERTU and for at least 7 months following the last dose. Males: Advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with ENHERTU and for at least 4 months following the last dose. Infertility: ENHERTU may impair male reproductive function and fertility.
  • Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness of ENHERTU have not been established in pediatric patients.
  • Geriatric Use: Of the 883 patients with breast cancer treated with ENHERTU 5.4 mg/kg, 22% were ≥65 years and 3.6% were ≥75 years. No overall differences in efficacy within clinical studies were observed between patients ≥65 years of age compared to younger patients. There was a higher incidence of Grade 3-4 adverse reactions observed in patients aged ≥65 years (60%) as compared to younger patients (48%). Of the 125 patients with locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastric or GEJ adenocarcinoma treated with ENHERTU 6.4 mg/kg in DESTINY-Gastric01, 56% were ≥65 years and 14% were ≥75 years. No overall differences in efficacy or safety were observed between patients ≥65 years of age compared to younger patients.
  • Renal Impairment: A higher incidence of Grade 1 and 2 ILD/pneumonitis has been observed in patients with moderate renal impairment. Monitor patients with moderate or severe renal impairment.
  • Hepatic Impairment: In patients with moderate hepatic impairment, due to potentially increased exposure, closely monitor for increased toxicities related to the topoisomerase inhibitor.

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. at 1-877-437-7763 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or fda.gov/medwatch.

Please see accompanying full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS, and Medication Guide.

Notes

Financial considerations
Following this approval for ENHERTU in the US, an amount of $200m is due from AstraZeneca to Daiichi Sankyo as a milestone payment for the HER2-low breast cancer post chemotherapy indication. The milestone will be capitalized as an addition to the upfront payment made by AstraZeneca to Daiichi Sankyo in 2019 and subsequent capitalized milestones, and will be amortized through the profit and loss statement.


Contacts

Media Inquiries
Brendan McEvoy +1 302 885 2677
Chelsea Ford +1 302 885 2677

US Media Mailbox: usmediateam@astrazeneca.com


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