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Amgen receives CHMP positive opinion for Imlygic

Amgen announced that the CHMP has adopted a positive opinion recommending that Imlygic™ (talimogene laherparepvec) be granted approval for the treatment of adults with unresectable melanoma that is regionally or distantly metastatic (Stage IIIB, IIIC and IVM1a) with no bone, brain, lung or other visceral disease.

If approved by the European Commission, Imlygic would be the first in a class of novel agents known as oncolytic immunotherapies.

Imlygic, administered via intralesional injection, is designed to cause the death of tumour cells and to initiate an anti-tumour immune response.

We are pleased that Imlygic has received a positive opinion from the CHMP, and if approved by the European Commission, we look forward to continuing to work with European regulatory authorities to bring this innovative therapy to patients,” said Sean E Harper, MD, executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. “Metastatic melanoma continues to be one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers, often requiring the use of multiple treatment modalities. Despite recent advances, the five-year survival rate for patients who cannot be cured with surgery remains unacceptably low, demonstrating the critical need for additional approaches to control this disease.

The positive CHMP opinion was based on a global, randomised, open-label Phase III trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of Imlygic in patients with Stage IIIB, IIIC or IV melanoma when resection was not recommended compared to granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). In the 436-patient study, Imlygic significantly improved durable response rate (DRR), the primary endpoint of the trial, in the intent-to-treat population. DRR is defined as the percent of patients with complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) maintained continuously for a minimum of six months. A key secondary endpoint was overall survival (OS). The positive CHMP opinion reflects subgroup analyses where the effect on OS was largest in patients with unresectable melanoma that has not spread beyond the skin or lymph nodes.

The most commonly reported treatment-related adverse events were fatigue, chills, pyrexia, nausea, influenza-like illness and injection-site pain. Overall, 98% of these adverse reactions reported were mild or moderate in severity. The most common grade 3 or higher adverse reaction was cellulitis.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is characterised by the uncontrolled growth of melanocytes, which are the cells responsible for providing the pigment to skin.1 Melanoma is the most aggressive and serious form of skin cancer, and remains a significant public health concern in the European Union (EU).2,3 In 2012, it was estimated that there were 56,000 new cases of melanoma in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK causing nearly 9500 deaths.4,5

Following this CHMP opinion, Amgen expects a decision on the Marketing Authorisation from the European Commission in the coming months. Imlygic is also under review by the US Food and Drug Administration.


  1. National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. What You Need to Know About Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers. June 2010. Accessed October 8 2015.
  2. Melanoma Skin Cancer Overview. American Cancer Society. Accessed October 8 2015.
  3. Skin cancer incidence statistics. Cancer Research UK. Accessed October 8 2015.
  4. GLOBOCAN 2012. Accessed October 12 2015.
  5. GLOBOCAN 2012. Accessed October 12 2015.