FDA Approves Motixafortide (Aphexda) for Stem Cell Mobilization in Multiple Myeloma

M. Alexander Otto, PA, MMS

September 11, 2023

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved motixafortide (Aphexda, BioLineRx) in combination with filgrastim (G-CSF) to mobilize hematopoietic stem cells for collection and subsequent autologous transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma.

The success of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) depends on adequate mobilization of stem cells during the treatment process. Collection of a sufficient number of stem cells to perform two transplantations is recommended. However, in up to 47% of patients, collecting target numbers of hematopoietic stem cells for ASCT after one apheresis session remains a challenge, BioLineRx explained in a press release today announcing the approval.

The goal of combining motixafortide with filgrastim is to mobilize stem cells more reliably than filgrastim can alone, with fewer days of apheresis sessions and fewer doses of filgrastim.

"We believe [motixafortide] will play a critical role in addressing unmet needs and introduce a new treatment paradigm for" patients with multiple myeloma, CEO Philip Serlin said in the release.

The drug approval was based on the GENESIS trial, which randomized 122 patients to either motixafortide plus filgrastim or placebo plus filgrastim.

BioLineRx said the trial included patients considered representative of the typical multiple myeloma population undergoing ASCT, with a median age of 63 years and with about 70% of patients in both arms of the trial receiving lenalidomide-containing induction therapy.

Motixafortide plus filgrastim enabled 67.5% of patients to achieve the stem cell collection goal of

6 million or more CD34+ cells/kg within two apheresis sessions, versus 9.5% of patients receiving placebo plus filgrastim regimen. Additionally, 92.5% of patients reached the stem cell collection goal in up to two apheresis sessions in the motixafortide arm and 21.4% in the placebo arm.

However, "the data are descriptive and were not statistically powered nor prespecified. The information should be cautiously interpreted," the company said.

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 5.4% of patients in the motixafortide arm, including vomiting, injection site reaction, hypersensitivity reaction, injection site cellulitis, hypokalemia, and hypoxia. The most common adverse reactions, occurring in more than 20% of patients, were injection site reactions (pain, erythema, and pruritus), pruritus, flushing, and back pain.

Labeling for the subcutaneous injection is available online.

M. Alexander Otto is a physician assistant with a master's degree in medical science and a journalism degree from Newhouse. He is an award-winning medical journalist who worked for several major news outlets before joining Medscape and is also an MIT Knight Science Journalism fellow. Email:  aotto@mdedge.com

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