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Genmab and AbbVie announce positive Phase 1/2 results

The two companies have announced topline results from the follicular lymphoma (FL) cohort of the EPCORE NHL-1 clinical trial evaluating epcoritamab, an investigational T-cell engaging bispecific antibody administered subcutaneously.

The study cohort includes 128 adult patients with relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) who received at least two prior lines of systemic therapy. 70.3 percent of patients were double refractory to an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody and an alkylating agent.

“These topline results are encouraging for relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma patients who are in need of new therapeutic options,” says Jan van de Winkel, Chief Executive Officer of Genmab. “With our partner AbbVie, we are committed to evaluating epcoritamab as a potential core therapy across B-cell malignancies. We look forward to sharing the full results from this study cohort at an upcoming medical congress and discussing the results with global regulatory authorities.”

Based on the topline results, the companies will engage with global regulatory authorities to determine next steps. Epcoritamab is being co-developed by Genmab and AbbVie as part of the companies’ oncology collaboration.

The topline results

The topline results from this cohort showed an overall response rate (ORR) of 82 percent as confirmed by an independent review committee (IRC), which exceeded the protocol prespecified threshold for efficacy. The observed median duration of response (DOR) was not reached. No new safety signals were observed with epcoritamab in this study at the time of analysis. The most common treatment-emergent adverse event was cytokine release syndrome (CRS) with 66.4 percent (1.6 percent grade >2). Aligned with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Project Optimus, the optimization part of the trial is continuing to evaluate alternative step-up dosing regimens to mitigate the risk of CRS; preliminary data on the initial patients enrolled indicate a clinically meaningful improvement in CRS rate.

The Phase 1/2 EPCORE NHL-1 trial

EPCORE NHL-1 an open-label, multi-center safety and preliminary efficacy trial of epcoritamab that consists of three parts: a phase 1 first-in-human, dose escalation part; a phase 2 expansion part; and an optimization part. The trial was designed to evaluate subcutaneous epcoritamab in patients with relapsed, progressive or refractory CD20+ mature B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (B-NHL), including FL. In the phase 2 expansion part, additional patients were enrolled to further explore the safety and efficacy of epcoritamab in three cohorts of patients with different types of relapsed/refractory B-NHLs who have limited therapeutic options. The optimization part evaluates the potential for alternative step-up dosing regimens to further minimize grade 2 CRS and mitigate the risk of grade ≥3 CRS. The primary endpoint of the expansion part was ORR as assessed by an IRC. Secondary efficacy endpoints included DOR, complete response rate, duration of complete response, progression-free survival, and time to response as determined by the Lugano criteria. Overall survival, time to next therapy, and rate of minimal residual disease negativity were evaluated as secondary efficacy endpoints.

Photo of Jan van de Winkel: Tuala Hjarnoe