Biotech Focus: Tracking the Oncology Pipeline
2012 ASH Annual Meeting
Several investigational treatments were highlighted at the 2012 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, which took place from December 8-11 in Atlanta, Georgia. View our complete coverage of the meeting.
Ibrutinib, an irreversible inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, demonstrated dramatic activity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
In a 116-patient phase Ib/II study of patients with relapsed/refractory (RR) or treatment-naÃ¯ve (aged â‰¥65 years) CLL or SLL, ibrutinib monotherapy was associated with estimated progression-free survival rates of 96% and 76% in the treatment-naÃ¯ve and RR groups, respectively. The maximum follow-up was 26 months.
In a second study, researchers sought to accelerate response to ibrutinib by pairing the drug with rituximab in 40 patients with CLL/SLL (median age, 65 years) considered high risk. In all, 38 of 40 patients continued on therapy without disease progression. The overall response rate (ORR) was 83%.
A third trial demonstrated that singleagent ibrutinib had an “unprecedented” ORR of 66.1% in 109 evaluable patients with relapsed or refractory MCL (median age, 68 years). The ongoing phase II study included both bortezomib-naÃ¯ve and bortezomib-exposed patients.