GSK receives approval for HycamtinÂ® (topotecan) Capsules for the treatment of relapsed small cell lung cancer
First FDA approved oral therapy will allow patients to be treated for this aggressive cancer at home
PHILADELPHIA, 15 October, 2007 â€“ GlaxoSmithKline [NYSE: GSK] announced today approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for oral HYCAMTINÂ® (topotecan) capsules for the treatment of relapsed small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Specifically, HYCAMTIN capsules are indicated for patients who had a complete or partial response to first-line chemotherapy and who are at least 45 days from the end of that treatment. HYCAMTIN capsules are the only oral single-agent chemotherapy approved for the treatment of SCLC after failure of first-line therapy. The product will be available in 2008.
â€œThe approval of HYCAMTIN capsules is particularly important for patients with relapsed small cell lung cancer as they now have an effective treatment option that has been shown to provide a survival benefit and can be conveniently taken at home,â€ said Debasish Roychowdhury, M.D., Vice President, Global Clinical Development, Oncology Medicine Development Center, GSK. â€œAdditionally, this milestone underscores GSK Oncologyâ€™s commitment to helping improve cancer patientsâ€™ quality of life.â€
This approval was based on positive results from a Phase III study comparing HYCAMTIN capsules plus best supportive care (BSC) to BSC alone in patients with relapsed SCLC, in addition to Phase II and Phase III supporting studies. Best supportive care refers to treatments intended to control, prevent, and relieve disease complications to improve comfort and quality of life for the patient, but are not intended to have any anti-tumor effects.In the pivotal Phase III clinical trial, HYCAMTIN capsules added to BSC were associated with prolonged survival in patients with relapsed SCLC. This was the first randomized study ever to demonstrate that patients with relapsed SCLC live longer when they are treated with BSC and chemotherapy compared to BSC alone. Study results were published in the December 1, 2006 isue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1
â€œIn clinical trials, HYCAMTIN capsules have shown the potential to benefit patients with SCLC, many of whom are prone to relapse,â€ said John Eckardt, M.D., Director of Clinical Research for the Center for Cancer Care and Research, St. Louis, MO. â€œThe approval of HYCAMTIN capsules opens up new possibilitiesfor patients battling this disease and provides a convenient alternative to IV therapy.â€
HYCAMTIN Capsules cinical tial reults1,2
In the Phase III multicenter trial, 141 patients with relapsed SCLC not considered as candidates for standard IV therapy were randomized to receive BSC alone (n = 70) or HYCAMTIN capsules (2.3 mg/m2/day, days 1 through 5, every 21 days) plus BSC (HYCAMTIN capsules; n = 71). The primary objective was to compare overall survival between the two treatment arms. Patients who received HYCAMTIN capsules plus BSC showed a statistically significant improvement in overall survival compared with the patients who received BSC alone (Log-rank p = 0.0104). Median survival with HYCAMTIN capsules plus BSC was 25.9 weeks (95% CI, 18.3 to 31.6) and was 13.9 weeks (95% CI, 11.1 to 18.6) with BSC alone. The hazard ratio was 0.64 (95% C.I: 0.45, 0.90), indicating a 36% reduction in the risk of death for patients who received HYCAMTIN capsules plus BSC compared with the patients who received BSC alone.1
The most common Grade 3 or 4 hematologic adverse reactions with HYCAMTIN capsules were neutropenia (61%), anemia (25%), and thrombocytopenia (37%). The most common (>10%) non-hematologic adverse reactions (all grades) were nausea (27%), diarrhea (14%), vomiting (19%), fatigue (11%), and alopecia (10%).2
About smll cell lung cancer (SCLC)3
SCLC is caused by an uncontrolled growth of cells beginning on the surface of the lungâ€™s breathing tubes (called bronchi) and tends to spread widely through the body. This is important because it means that surgery is rarely used as a treatment option. Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for SCLC. Although SCLC is often responsive to first-line treatments, patients may relapse.
SCLC is most common in current or past smokers, but can also be caused by environmental risk factors such as exposure to radon and air pollution. About 15% of patients with lung cancer have SCLC, a fast-growing form of the disease.3
About HYCAMTINÂ® Capsules
HYCAMTIN capsules belong to a class of drugs known as topoisomerase I (topo-I) inhibitors. Topo-I is a naturally produced protein essential for cell division in both normal and cancer cells. Interaction between topo-I and HYCAMTIN capsules results in permanent damage to the cellâ€™s genetic material and the death of dividing cells. Registration dossiers for HYCAMTIN capsules have been submitted in Europe, Canada, and other markets around the world.
Important safety information
HYCAMTIN capsules can suppress the bodyâ€™s ability to produce disease fighting white blood cells, a condition known as neutropenia. In addition, the amount of clotting cells can decrease (thrombocytopenia). Generally, HYCAMTIN capsules have a mild to moderate non-hematologic toxicity profile. Other common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and hair loss (alopecia).
GlaxoSmithKline â€“ one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies â€“ is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer. For company information, visit GlaxoSmithKline at www.gsk.com.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by the company, including those made in this Announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect the Group's operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the 'Business Review' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2006.