The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson has announced that it has submitted a Marketing Authorisation Application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for apalutamide, an investigational, next generation oral androgen receptor (AR) inhibitor for the treatment of patients with high-risk non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC).
The submission is based on data from the pivotal SPARTAN Phase III clinical trial which assessed the safety and efficacy of apalutamide versus placebo in men with nmCRPC who have a rapidly rising prostate specific antigen (PSA) level, despite receiving continuous androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). The SPARTAN clinical trial showed a significantly decreased risk of distant metastasis or death (definition of the primary endpoint, metastasis free survival) by 72%, compared to placebo in combination with ADT (HR = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.23-0.35; P < 0.0001) and improved median metastasis-free survival (MFS) by over two years (difference of 24.3 months) in patients with nmCRPC whose PSA is rapidly rising. The results were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium (ASCO GU) in San Francisco (Abstract 161). Study findings were simultaneously published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
“The results of the SPARTAN trial are the first to show that metastases can be delayed in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, suggesting that apalutamide could become a new standard of care for patients with high-risk non-metastatic CRPC,” said Dr Simon Chowdhury, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, and a SPARTAN study investigator.
SPARTAN, a Phase III, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study, enrolled 1207 patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and was conducted at 332 sites in 26 countries in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Australia. Patients were randomised 2:1 to receive apalutamide in combination with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) (n = 806), or placebo in combination with ADT (n = 401).
Apalutamide in combination with ADT decreased the risk of distant metastasis or death by 72%, compared to placebo in combination with ADT (HR = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.23-0.35; P < 0.0001).1 The median MFS was 40.5 months for apalutamide in combination with ADT compared to 16.2 months for placebo in combination with ADT, prolonging MFS by over two years. MFS benefit was consistently seen across all subgroups of patients.1
“At Janssen we are committed to transforming prostate cancer management. By treating earlier and delaying the cancer from spreading, we aim to improve outcomes for patients with this devastating disease,” said Dr Ivo Winiger-Candolfi, Oncology Solid Tumor Therapy Area Lead, Janssen-Cilag International NV. “We look forward to working with the European Medicines Agency to bring this potential new treatment option to patients in the European Union as soon as possible.”
“Delaying prostate cancer from metastasising is critical. Once the cancer starts to spread, a patient’s overall health, well-being and prognosis change drastically,” said Peter Lebowitz, MD, PhD, Global Therapeutic Area Head of Oncology at Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “It’s exciting to see apalutamide data at ASCO GU and these strong results truly underscore Janssen’s commitment to addressing unmet needs for treatment across all stages of disease progression.”
- Small E., et al. SPARTAN, a phase 3 double-blind, randomized study of apalutamide (APA) vs placebo (PBO) in patients (pts) with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC). 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. Abstract #161.