Seattle Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:SGEN) today announced that Health Canada has issued a Notice of Compliance with conditions (NOC/c), authorizing marketing of ADCETRIS for two lymphoma indications: (1) the treatment of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) after failure of autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) or after failure of at least two multi-agent chemotherapy regimens in patients who are not ASCT candidates, and (2) the treatment of patients with systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (sALCL) after failure of at least one multi-agent chemotherapy regimen. The indications for ADCETRIS were authorized based on promising response rates demonstrated in single-arm trials. No data demonstrate increased survival with ADCETRIS.
"We are focused on making ADCETRIS available globally to all eligible patients with relapsed HL and sALCL. The approval of ADCETRIS in Canada, as well as the recent approval in the European Union, are important milestones to accomplish this goal," said Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Seattle Genetics. "Now that Health Canada has approved ADCETRIS, we are committed to working closely with public and private insurers to secure reimbursement coverage for patients in Canada."
"The approval of ADCETRIS in Canada marks a significant milestone for patients with relapsed HL or sALCL who have had few new treatment options in several decades," Joseph M. Connors, M.D., FRCPC, Clinical Director, Center for Lymphoid Cancer at BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada.
Health Canada grants NOC/c, a form of market approval, on the basis of promising evidence of clinical effectiveness, for products intended for the treatment of serious, life-threatening or severely debilitating illnesses that meet a serious unmet medical need or demonstrate a significant improvement in the benefit/risk profile over existing therapies. Conditions associated with market authorization under the NOC/c policy include a requirement that Seattle Genetics conduct clinical trials designed to confirm the anticipated clinical benefit of ADCETRIS in these patients. Two confirmatory phase III clinical trials evaluating ADCETRIS in the front-line treatment setting of HL and mature T-cell lymphoma (MTCL), including sALCL, are currently underway and enrolling patients.
ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin) was issued marketing authorization under the NOC/c policy based on results from a single-arm, phase II pivotal trial in HL patients with relapsed or refractory disease following an ASCT and a single-arm, phase II pivotal trial in relapsed or refractory sALCL patients. ADCETRIS is administered in hospitals through IV infusion over 30 minutes every three weeks and patients who achieve stable disease or better should receive a minimum of 8 cycles and up to a maximum of 16 cycles (approximately one year).
ADCETRIS is the first in a new class of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) to be approved in Canada. Using Seattle Genetics' proprietary technology, the ADC consists of a monoclonal antibody directed to an antigen called CD30. The monoclonal antibody is connected to a cell-killing agent by a linker system that is designed to be stable in the bloodstream but to release the cell-killing agent into CD30-expressing cells, resulting in target cell death. The CD30 antigen is known to be expressed on the Reed-Sternberg cells of HL and on sALCL, an aggressive type of T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
"Health Canada's approval of ADCETRIS is the first step in getting patients access to this important therapy," said Sue Robson, Executive Director of Lymphoma Foundation Canada. "The Lymphoma Foundation is committed to working with Canada provincial governments to ensure that appropriate patients have access to this new therapy."