Bristol Myers Squibb’s Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel) is First and Only CAR T to Deliver Deep and Durable Efficacy in Pivotal Multicenter Trial in Relapsed or Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Based on Data Presented at ASCO 2023

05/25/2023

TRANSCEND CLL 004 is the first pivotal multicenter trial to evaluate a CAR T cell therapy in heavily pre-treated patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma

Results from the primary analysis show 18.4% of patients treated with Breyanzi achieved a complete response (CR) and median duration of CR not reached at median follow-up of 21.1 months

Breyanzi showed a manageable safety profile, with no new safety signals, in this patient population with relapsed or refractory disease after treatment with a BTK inhibitor (BTKi) and BCL-2 inhibitor (BCL2i)

Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) today announced the first disclosure of results from the primary analysis of the pivotal TRANSCEND CLL 004 study, a Phase 1/2, open-label, single-arm multicenter study evaluating Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel, liso-cel) in adults with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). At a median follow-up of 21.1 months, results show that Breyanzi delivered statistically significant complete response (CR) rates, the study’s primary endpoint, in 18.4% of patients in the primary efficacy analysis set (95% CI: 8.8-32; p=0.0006). Among patients who achieved a CR, no disease progression or deaths were observed, with median duration of response not reached.

TRANSCEND CLL 004 is the first pivotal multicenter study of a CD19-directed CAR T cell therapy for patients with relapsed or refractory CLL after progression on a BTKi and BCL2i. These data will be presented in an oral presentation during the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting on June 6, 10:45 a.m. EDT (Abstract #7501).

There is a critical unmet need for patients with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL, especially those who have experienced disease progression after treatment with a BTKi and BCL2i. These patients often have high-risk disease features and poor outcomes, with short overall survival. Current treatment options rarely provide complete responses, and durability of response is limited.

“For people living with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL after treatment with BTKi and BCL2i-based regimens, there is no standard of care treatment. Achieving deep and lasting remission in this situation is challenging as most patients experience disease progression despite continuous treatment,” said Tanya Siddiqi, M.D., lead investigator and Associate Professor, Division of Lymphoma, City of Hope National Medical Center. “The durable complete responses observed with liso-cel in the TRANSCEND CLL 004 trial are remarkable and represent a major step in bringing a personalized, T-cell-based treatment approach delivered as a one-time infusion into clinical practice for a complex and historically incurable disease.”

“Results from TRANSCEND CLL 004 reinforce our relentless commitment to bringing the potential of CAR T cell therapy to more patients and transforming the treatment and outcomes for a broad range of hematologic malignancies,” said Anne Kerber, senior vice president, head of Cell Therapy Development, Bristol Myers Squibb. “Breyanzi has shown clinically meaningful benefit across the broadest array of B-cell malignancies of any CD19-directed CAR T cell therapy and we remain dedicated to advancing innovative treatments for some of the most difficult-to-treat diseases with high unmet need.”

The TRANSCEND CLL 004 trial included a broad population of patients with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL with high unmet need who had received at least two prior lines of therapy, including a BTKi (n=117). The prespecified primary efficacy analysis set (PEAS; n=49) consisted of a subset of patients who had experienced disease progression following treatment with a BTKi and failure of BCL2i-based regimens, representing a patient population with advanced and aggressive disease, and who were treated with the target dose of 100 x 106 CAR-positive viable T-cells of Breyanzi. High rates of undetectable minimal residual disease (uMRD) were observed across patients treated with Breyanzi, with a uMRD rate 63.3% in the blood (95% CI: 48.3-76.6) and 59.2% in the bone marrow (95% CI: 44.2-73.0), which was associated with an increase in progression-free survival.The overall response rate (ORR) was 42.9% (95% CI: 28.8-57.8; p=0.3931), with a median duration of response of 35.3 months (11.01-NR). Data were consistent between the PEAS and the broad patient population evaluated in the study, including heavily pretreated patients with a median of five prior lines of therapy (2 – 12) and high-risk disease, with a CR rate of 18.4% (95% CI: 10.9-28.1), demonstrating the clinical benefit of Breyanzi for a broad patient population with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL.

Among all treated patients in the study (n=117), including subgroups of heavily pretreated patients, Breyanzi exhibited a manageable safety profile, and no new safety signals were observed. Any grade cytokine release syndrome (CRS) occurred in 84.6% of patients, with Grade 3 CRS occurring in 8.5% of patients. No Grade 4/5 CRS events were reported. Any grade neurologic events (NE) were reported in 45.3% of patients, with Grade 3 NE reported in 17.9% of patients and one case (0.9%) of Grade 4 NE reported. No Grade 5 NE were reported.

Results from TRANSCEND CLL 004 will be discussed with health authorities. Bristol Myers Squibb thanks the patients and investigators involved in the TRANSCEND CLL 004 trial.

About TRANSCEND CLL 004
TRANSCEND CLL 004 (NCT03331198) is a Phase 1/2 open-label, multicenter study evaluating Breyanzi in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma. The Phase 1 dose escalation portion of the study assessed the safety and recommended dose for the subsequent Phase 2 expansion cohort. The Phase 2 portion of the study is evaluating Breyanzi at the recommended dose from the Phase 1 monotherapy arm. The primary endpoint of the Phase 2 portion of the study was complete response rate, including complete remission with incomplete bone marrow recovery, based on independent review committee according to the International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (iwCLL) 2018 guidelines.

About CLL and SLL
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is one of the most common types of leukemia in adults. In CLL, too many blood stem cells in the bone marrow become abnormal lymphocytes, and these abnormal cells have difficulty fighting infections. As the number of abnormal cells grows, there is less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) also affects the lymphocytes, with cancer cells found mostly in the lymph nodes. While there are several treatments available for CLL and SLL, there is no standard of care for relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL after prior therapy with targeted agents, which raises the need for additional effective therapies. Patients with relapsed or refractory disease have limited treatment options and generally experience shorter periods of response with each subsequent treatment.

About Breyanzi
Breyanzi is a CD19-directed CAR T cell therapy with a 4-1BB costimulatory domain, which enhances the expansion and persistence of the CAR T cells. Breyanzi is made from a patient’s own T cells, which are collected and genetically reengineered to become CAR T cells that are then delivered via infusion as a one-time treatment. Breyanzi is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult patients with LBCL, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified (including DLBCL arising from indolent lymphoma), high-grade B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal LBCL, and follicular lymphoma grade 3B who have refractory disease to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or relapse within 12 months of first-line chemoimmunotherapy, or refractory disease to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or relapse after first-line chemoimmunotherapy and are not eligible for hematopoietic stem cell transplant due to comorbidities or age, or relapsed or refractory disease after two or more lines of systemic therapy. Breyanzi is not indicated for the treatment of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma.

Please see the Important Safety Information section below, including Boxed WARNINGS for Breyanzi regarding cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity.

Breyanzi is also approved in Japan and Europe for the second-line treatment of relapsed or refractory LBCL, and in Japan, Europe, Switzerland, and Canada for relapsed and refractory LBCL after two or more lines of systemic therapy. Bristol Myers Squibb’s clinical development program for Breyanzi includes clinical studies in earlier lines of treatment for patients with relapsed or refractory LBCL and other types of lymphoma and leukemia. For more information, visit clinicaltrials.gov.

U.S. Important Safety Information
BREYANZI is a CD19-directed genetically modified autologous T cell immunotherapy indicated for the treatment of adult patients with large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL), including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified (including DLBCL arising from indolent lymphoma), high-grade B cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, and follicular lymphoma grade 3B, who have:

  • refractory disease to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or relapse within 12 months of first-line chemoimmunotherapy; or
  • refractory disease to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or relapse after first-line chemoimmunotherapy and are not eligible for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) due to comorbidities or age; or
  • relapsed or refractory disease after two or more lines of systemic therapy.

Limitations of Use: BREYANZI is not indicated for the treatment of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma.

BOXED WARNING: CYTOKINE RELEASE SYNDROME and NEUROLOGIC TOXICITIES

  • Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), including fatal or life-threatening reactions, occurred in patients receiving BREYANZI. Do not administer BREYANZI to patients with active infection or inflammatory disorders. Treat severe or life-threatening CRS with tocilizumab with or without corticosteroids.
  • Neurologic toxicities, including fatal or life-threatening reactions, occurred in patients receiving BREYANZI, including concurrently with CRS, after CRS resolution or in the absence of CRS. Monitor for neurologic events after treatment with BREYANZI. Provide supportive care and/or corticosteroids as needed.
  • BREYANZI is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called the BREYANZI REMS.

Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS)
Cytokine release syndrome (CRS), including fatal or life-threatening reactions, occurred following treatment with BREYANZI. Among patients receiving BREYANZI for LBCL (N=418), CRS occurred in 46% (190/418), including ≥ Grade 3 CRS (Lee grading system) in 3.1% of patients.

In patients receiving BREYANZI after two or more lines of therapy for LBCL, CRS occurred in 46% (122/268), including ≥ Grade 3 CRS in 4.1% of patients. One patient had fatal CRS and 2 had ongoing CRS at time of death. The median time to onset was 5 days (range: 1 to 15 days). CRS resolved in 98% with a median duration of 5 days (range: 1 to 17 days).

In patients receiving BREYANZI after one line of therapy for LBCL, CRS occurred in 45% (68/150), including Grade 3 CRS in 1.3% of patients. The median time to onset was 4 days (range: 1 to 63 days). CRS resolved in all patients with a median duration of 4 days (range: 1 to 16 days).

The most common manifestations of CRS (≥10%) included fever (94%), hypotension (42%), tachycardia (28%), chills (23%), hypoxia (16%), and headache (12%).

Serious events that may be associated with CRS include cardiac arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia), cardiac arrest, cardiac failure, diffuse alveolar damage, renal insufficiency, capillary leak syndrome, hypotension, hypoxia, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome (HLH/MAS).

Ensure that 2 doses of tocilizumab are available prior to infusion of BREYANZI.

Of the 418 patients who received BREYANZI for LBCL, 23% received tocilizumab and/or a corticosteroid for CRS, including 10% who received tocilizumab only and 2.2% who received corticosteroids only.

Neurologic Toxicities
Neurologic toxicities that were fatal or life-threatening, including immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS), occurred following treatment with BREYANZI. Serious events including cerebral edema and seizures occurred with BREYANZI. Fatal and serious cases of leukoencephalopathy, some attributable to fludarabine, also occurred.

In patients receiving BREYANZI after two or more lines of therapy for LBCL, CAR T cell-associated neurologic toxicities occurred in 35% (95/268), including ≥ Grade 3 in 12% of patients. Three patients had fatal neurologic toxicity and 7 had ongoing neurologic toxicity at time of death. The median time to onset of neurotoxicity was 8 days (range: 1 to 46 days). Neurologic toxicities resolved in 85% with a median duration of 12 days (range: 1 to 87 days).

In patients receiving BREYANZI after one line of therapy for LBCL, CAR T cell-associated neurologic toxicities occurred in 27% (41/150) of patients, including Grade 3 cases in 7% of patients. The median time to onset of neurologic toxicities was 8 days (range: 1 to 63 days). The median duration of neurologic toxicity was 6 days (range: 1 to 119 days).

In all patients combined receiving BREYANZI for LBCL, neurologic toxicities occurred in 33% (136/418), including ≥ Grade 3 cases in 10% of patients. The median time to onset was 8 days (range: 1 to 63), with 87% of cases developing by 16 days. Neurologic toxicities resolved in 85% of patients with a median duration of 11 days (range: 1 to 119 days). Of patients developing neurotoxicity, 77% (105/136) also developed CRS. The most common neurologic toxicities (≥ 5%) included encephalopathy (20%), tremor (13%), aphasia (8%), headache (6%), dizziness (6%), and delirium (5%).

CRS and Neurologic Toxicities Monitoring
Monitor patients daily for at least 7 days following BREYANZI infusion at a REMS-certified healthcare facility for signs and symptoms of CRS and neurologic toxicities and assess for other causes of neurological symptoms. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of CRS and neurologic toxicities for at least 4 weeks after infusion and treat promptly. At the first sign of CRS, institute treatment with supportive care, tocilizumab, or tocilizumab and corticosteroids as indicated. Manage neurologic toxicity with supportive care and/or corticosteroid as needed. Counsel patients to seek immediate medical attention should signs or symptoms of CRS or neurologic toxicity occur at any time.

BREYANZI REMS
Because of the risk of CRS and neurologic toxicities, BREYANZI is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called the BREYANZI REMS. The required components of the BREYANZI REMS are:

  • Healthcare facilities that dispense and administer BREYANZI must be enrolled and comply with the REMS requirements.
  • Certified healthcare facilities must have on-site, immediate access to tocilizumab.
  • Ensure that a minimum of 2 doses of tocilizumab are available for each patient for infusion within 2 hours after BREYANZI infusion, if needed for treatment of CRS.
  • Certified healthcare facilities must ensure that healthcare providers who prescribe, dispense, or administer

BREYANZI are trained on the management of CRS and neurologic toxicities.

Further information is available at www.BreyanziREMS.com, or contact Bristol-Myers Squibb at 1-888-423-5436.

Hypersensitivity Reactions
Allergic reactions may occur with the infusion of BREYANZI. Serious hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, may be due to dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

Serious Infections
Severe infections, including life-threatening or fatal infections, have occurred in patients after BREYANZI infusion.

In patients receiving BREYANZI for LBCL, infections of any grade occurred in 36% with Grade 3 or higher infections occurring in 12% of all patients. Grade 3 or higher infections with an unspecified pathogen occurred in 7%, bacterial infections occurred in 4.3%, viral infections in 1.9% and fungal infections in 0.5%.

Febrile neutropenia developed after BREYANZI infusion in 8% of patients with LBCL. Febrile neutropenia may be concurrent with CRS. In the event of febrile neutropenia, evaluate for infection and manage with broad spectrum antibiotics, fluids, and other supportive care as medically indicated.

Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infection before and after BREYANZI administration and treat appropriately. Administer prophylactic antimicrobials according to standard institutional guidelines.

Avoid administration of BREYANZI in patients with clinically significant active systemic infections.

Viral reactivation: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation, in some cases resulting in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death, can occur in patients treated with drugs directed against B cells.

In patients who received BREYANZI for LBCL, 15 of the 16 patients with a prior history of HBV were treated with concurrent antiviral suppressive therapy. Perform screening for HBV, HCV, and HIV in accordance with clinical guidelines before collection of cells for manufacturing. In patients with prior history of HBV, consider concurrent antiviral suppressive therapy to prevent HBV reactivation per standard guidelines.

Prolonged Cytopenias
Patients may exhibit cytopenias not resolved for several weeks following lymphodepleting chemotherapy and BREYANZI infusion.

Grade 3 or higher cytopenias persisted at Day 29 following BREYANZI infusion in 36% of patients with LBCL and included thrombocytopenia in 28%, neutropenia in 21%, and anemia in 6%.

Monitor complete blood counts prior to and after BREYANZI administration.

Hypogammaglobulinemia
B-cell aplasia and hypogammaglobulinemia can occur in patients receiving treatment with BREYANZI.

In patients receiving BREYANZI for LBCL, hypogammaglobulinemia was reported as an adverse reaction in 11% of patients. Hypogammaglobulinemia, either as an adverse reaction or laboratory IgG level below 500 mg/dL after infusion, was reported in 28% of patients.

Monitor immunoglobulin levels after treatment with BREYANZI and manage using infection precautions, antibiotic prophylaxis, and immunoglobulin replacement as clinically indicated.

Live vaccines: The safety of immunization with live viral vaccines during or following BREYANZI treatment has not been studied. Vaccination with live virus vaccines is not recommended for at least 6 weeks prior to the start of lymphodepleting chemotherapy, during BREYANZI treatment, and until immune recovery following treatment with BREYANZI.

Secondary Malignancies
Patients treated with BREYANZI may develop secondary malignancies. Monitor lifelong for secondary malignancies. In the event that a secondary malignancy occurs, contact Bristol-Myers Squibb at 1-888-805-4555 for reporting and to obtain instructions on collection of patient samples for testing.

Effects on Ability to Drive and Use Machines
Due to the potential for neurologic events, including altered mental status or seizures, patients receiving BREYANZI are at risk for developing altered or decreased consciousness or impaired coordination in the 8 weeks following BREYANZI administration. Advise patients to refrain from driving and engaging in hazardous occupations or activities, such as operating heavy or potentially dangerous machinery, for at least 8 weeks.

Adverse Reactions
The most common nonlaboratory adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 30%) are fever, CRS, fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, and nausea.

The most common Grade 3-4 laboratory abnormalities (≥ 30%) include lymphocyte count decrease, neutrophil count decrease, platelet count decrease, and hemoglobin decrease.

Please see full Prescribing Information , including Boxed WARNINGS and Medication Guide .

Bristol Myers Squibb: Creating a Better Future for People with Cancer
Bristol Myers Squibb is inspired by a single vision—transforming patients’ lives through science. The goal of the company’s cancer research is to deliver medicines that offer each patient a better, healthier life and to make cure a possibility. Building on a legacy across a broad range of cancers that have changed survival expectations for many, Bristol Myers Squibb researchers are exploring new frontiers in personalized medicine, and through innovative digital platforms, are turning data into insights that sharpen their focus. Deep scientific expertise, cutting-edge capabilities and discovery platforms enable the company to look at cancer from every angle. Cancer can have a relentless grasp on many parts of a patient’s life, and Bristol Myers Squibb is committed to taking actions to address all aspects of care, from diagnosis to survivorship. Because as a leader in cancer care, Bristol Myers Squibb is working to empower all people with cancer to have a better future.

Learn more about the science behind cell therapy and ongoing research at Bristol Myers Squibb here.

About Bristol Myers Squibb
Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding, among other things, the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. All statements that are not statements of historical facts are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about our future financial results, goals, plans and objectives and involve inherent risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including internal or external factors that could delay, divert or change any of them in the next several years, that are difficult to predict, may be beyond our control and could cause our future financial results, goals, plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. These risks, assumptions, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, that future study results may not be consistent with the results to date, that Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel) may not receive regulatory approval for the additional indication described in this release in the currently anticipated timeline or at all, that any marketing approvals, if granted, may have significant limitations on their use, and, if approved, whether such product candidate for such additional indication described in this release will be commercially successful. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many risks and uncertainties that affect Bristol Myers Squibb’s business and market, particularly those identified in the cautionary statement and risk factors discussion in Bristol Myers Squibb’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements included in this document are made only as of the date of this document and except as otherwise required by applicable law, Bristol Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

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