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AstraZeneca’s Calquence approved in the US for adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

David Fredrickson

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Calquence (acalabrutinib) for adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL).

The US approval was granted under the FDA’s Real-Time Oncology Review and newly established Project Orbis programmes. The approval is based on positive results from the interim analyses of two Phase III clinical trials, ELEVATE-TN in patients with previously untreated CLL and ASCEND in patients with relapsed or refractory CLL. Together, the trials showed that Calquence in combination with obinutuzumab or as a monotherapy significantly reduced the relative risk of disease progression or death versus the comparator arms in both 1st-line and relapsed or refractory CLL. Across both trials, the safety and tolerability of Calquence were consistent with its established profile.

“With over 20,000 new cases anticipated this year in the US alone, today’s approval of Calquence provides new hope for patients with one of the most common types of adult leukaemia, offering outstanding efficacy and a favourable tolerability profile. The chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patient population is known to face multiple comorbidities, and tolerability is a critical factor in their treatment,” says Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, AstraZeneca.

The ELEVATE-TN trial

The results of the interim analysis of the ELEVATE-TN trial will be presented at the upcoming American Society of Hematology congress. The trial showed a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) for patients treated with either Calquence in combination with obinutuzumab or Calquence monotherapy versus chlorambucil chemotherapy plus obinutuzumab, a current standard-of-care combination used in the control arm. In the Calquence combination arm, risk of disease progression or death was reduced by 90% (HR 0.10; 95% CI, 0.06-0.17, p<0.0001) and in the monotherapy arm it was reduced by 80% (HR 0.20; 95% CI, 0.13-0.30, p<0.0001). The median time to disease progression for patients treated with Calquence in combination with obinutuzumab or as a monotherapy has not yet been reached versus 22.6 months (95% CI, 20-28) for chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab.

Photo of Dave Fredrickson: AstraZeneca