FDA Approves New Drug for Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma

Nick Mulcahy

Disclosures

March 02, 2020

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved isatuximab (Sarclisa, Sanofi) in combination with pomalidomide (Pomalyst, Celgene) and dexamethasone for the treatment of adult patients with multiple myeloma who have received two or more prior therapies including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor.

Isatuximab is an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody administered by intravenous (IV) infusion that works by helping the immune system attack multiple myeloma cancer cells.

"While there is no cure for multiple myeloma, Sarclisa is now another CD38-directed treatment option added to the list of FDA-approved treatments of patients with multiple myeloma who have progressive disease after previous therapies," said Richard Pazdur, MD, director of the FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Oncologic Diseases in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

"In the clinical trial, there was a 40% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death with this therapy," he added.

The new approval is based on results from ICARIA-MM, an open-label, randomized phase 3 clinical trial of isatuximab among 307 patients in this setting.

In the trial, at a median follow-up of 11.6 months, median progression-free survival was 11.5 months in the isatuximab-pomalidomide-dexamethasone group versus 6.5 months in the pomalidomide-dexamethasone group (hazard ratio, 0.60; P = .001), as reported last year. Overall response rates were 60.4% for the triplet-treated group versus 35.3% for the doublet-treated group.

The most common side effects for isatuximab included neutropenia, infusion-related reactions, pneumonia, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, anemia, lymphopenia, and thrombocytopenia.

Deaths because of treatment-related adverse events were reported for one patient (< 1%) in the isatuximab-pomalidomide-dexamethasone group (sepsis) and two patients (1%) in the pomalidomide-dexamethasone group (pneumonia and urinary tract infection).

The drug can also cause serious side effects, including IV infusion-related reactions. In the case of a grade 3 or higher reaction, the drug should be permanently discontinued and healthcare professionals should institute appropriate medical management.

The FDA notes there have been higher incidences of second primary malignancies observed in a controlled clinical trial of patients with multiple myeloma receiving the drug.

The FDA also highlighted that laboratory test interference may be caused by isatuximab and that blood banks should be informed that patients are receiving the drug. Isatuximab may interfere with, for example, antibody screening for patients who need a blood transfusion. Isatuximab may also interfere with the assays used to monitor M-protein, which may impact the determination of complete response.

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