Time to CAR T-cell Therapy May Impact Outcomes for Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Large B-cell Lymphoma in New CIBMTR Analysis

Time to CAR T-cell Therapy May Impact Outcomes for Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Large B-cell Lymphoma in New CIBMTR Analysis




Time to CAR T-cell Therapy May Impact Outcomes for Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Large B-cell Lymphoma in New CIBMTR Analysis

Kite’s Manufacturing Time for Yescarta® in the U.S. is Median of 7-Days from Start of Cell Enrichment to Harvest, with an Overall 16-Day Turnaround Time (Leukapheresis to Product Release)

– CIBMTR Analysis Finds Median ‘Vein-to-Vein’ Time (Leukapheresis to Infusion) in Real World Setting is 27-Days for Yescarta in the U.S.

– In Same Analysis, Shorter Vein-to-Vein Time Associated with 60% Complete Response Rate in Patients Treated with Yescarta at Median Follow-Up of 24.2 Months

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), today announced results from one of the largest real-world analyses of patients who received CAR T-cell therapy assessing the impact of time from leukapheresis to infusion (“vein-to-vein” time) for Yescarta® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) in adult patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL). The analysis reported shorter vein-to-vein times associated with improved outcomes in patients treated with Yescarta, adjusted for key prognostic factors. Data were presented on December 11, during the 2022 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition (Abstract #3345).

These real-world data further clarify the positive impact that shorter vein-to-vein time can have on patient outcomes,” said Frederick L. Locke, MD, Chair of the Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy at Moffitt Cancer Center. “Additional studies must be conducted to further understand the impact of vein-to-vein time on treatment outcomes in the context of other prognostic features such as requirement for bridging therapy and tumor burden. It is important for both community oncologists seeking a CAR T consult and cell therapists to understand the potential impact of lost time when seeking the best possible CAR T result for their patients.”

In the pivotal clinical trials of the three commercially available CAR T-cell therapies for LBCL, Yescarta has reported shorter median vein-to-vein wait times from leukapheresis to infusion.

As the leader in cell therapy, it’s important that we understand all of the factors that can contribute to the best possible outcomes for patients,” said Chris McDonald, SVP, Global Head of Technical Operations, Kite. “We’re continuing to invest in technical advances to reduce times even further. I am hopeful studies like this will prompt improvements in the health care delivery system to reduce lost time for patients leading up to apheresis.”

This new real-world use analysis assessed Yescarta patients between October 2017 and August 2020 using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) Research Database, the post marketing registry of commercial patients prescribed Yescarta. Among all patients in the analysis (n=1,383 treated across 78 U.S. authorized treatment centers), the overall median vein-to-vein time for Yescarta was 27 days, inclusive of apheresis, both pre- and post-manufacturing transport, manufacturing time, and hospital scheduling and readiness including patient pre-conditioning prior to receiving their CAR T treatment. Kite’s manufacturing time for Yescarta in the U.S. is a median of seven days from start of cell enrichment to harvest, with an overall 16-day turnaround time (Leukapheresis to Product Release).

Shorter vein-to-vein time from the same analysis was associated with a favorable complete response (CR) rate and overall survival (OS). With a median follow-up of 24.2 months, for patients with less than 28 days or 28-39 days of vein-to-vein time, CR rates were 60% or 61%, respectively in contrast to a CR rate of 50% among patients with vein-to-vein time of 40 or more days. OS rate at 24 months was 53% among patients with vein-to-vein time up to 39 days versus 38% among patients with 40 or more days vein-to-vein time.

Similar rates of Grade ≥3 cytokine release syndrome (CRS), Grade ≥3 immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS), and prolonged neutropenia were observed regardless of vein-to-vein time. Patients with shorter vein-to-vein time had reduced risk of thrombocytopenia. ICANS of any grade may be higher among patients with vein-to-vein time less than 28 days but most were resolved by 21 days from onset regardless of vein-to-vein time.

CAR T-cell therapies are one-time treatments individually made starting from a patient’s own white blood cells, called T-cells. The cells are removed through leukapheresis and sent to Kite’s specialized manufacturing facilities where they are modified with a Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR). Once an individual therapy is created for a patient, the cells are carefully checked, preserved, packed and sent back to the hospital to be infused back into the patient. Over 11,000 patients have been treated with Kite’s CAR T-cell therapies globally through more than 300 authorized treatment centers around the world, including 117 of the leading cancer hospitals in the U.S.

About LBCL

In the United States and globally, LBCL is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). In the United States, more than 18,000 people are diagnosed with LBCL each year. About 30-40% of patients with LBCL will need second-line treatment, as their cancer will either relapse (return) or become refractory (not respond) to initial treatment.

About Yescarta

Please see full US Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

YESCARTA is a CD19-directed genetically modified autologous T cell immunotherapy indicated for the treatment of:

  • Adult patients with large B-cell lymphoma that is refractory to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or that relapses within 12 months of first-line chemoimmunotherapy.
  • Adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, high-grade B-cell lymphoma, and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma.

    Limitations of Use: YESCARTA is not indicated for the treatment of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma.
  • Adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on the response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trial(s).

U.S. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

BOXED WARNING: CYTOKINE RELEASE SYNDROME AND NEUROLOGIC TOXICITIES

  • Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), including fatal or life-threatening reactions, occurred in patients receiving YESCARTA. Do not administer YESCARTA to patients with active infection or inflammatory disorders. Treat severe or life-threatening CRS with tocilizumab or tocilizumab and corticosteroids.
  • Neurologic toxicities, including fatal or life-threatening reactions, occurred in patients receiving YESCARTA, including concurrently with CRS or after CRS resolution. Monitor for neurologic toxicities after treatment with YESCARTA. Provide supportive care and/or corticosteroids as needed.
  • YESCARTA is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called the YESCARTA and TECARTUS REMS Program.

CYTOKINE RELEASE SYNDROME (CRS)

CRS, including fatal or life-threatening reactions, occurred. CRS occurred in 90% (379/422) of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), including ≥ Grade 3 in 9%. CRS occurred in 93% (256/276) of patients with large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL), including ≥ Grade 3 in 9%. Among patients with LBCL who died after receiving YESCARTA, 4 had ongoing CRS events at the time of death. For patients with LBCL in ZUMA-1, the median time to onset of CRS was 2 days following infusion (range: 1-12 days) and the median duration was 7 days (range: 2-58 days). For patients with LBCL in ZUMA-7, the median time to onset of CRS was 3 days following infusion (range: 1-10 days) and the median duration was 7 days (range: 2-43 days). CRS occurred in 84% (123/146) of patients with indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (iNHL) in ZUMA-5, including ≥ Grade 3 in 8%. Among patients with iNHL who died after receiving YESCARTA, 1 patient had an ongoing CRS event at the time of death. The median time to onset of CRS was 4 days (range: 1-20 days) and the median duration was 6 days (range: 1-27 days) for patients with iNHL.

Key manifestations of CRS (≥ 10%) in all patients combined included fever (85%), hypotension (40%), tachycardia (32%), chills (22%), hypoxia (20%), headache (15%), and fatigue (12%). Serious events that may be associated with CRS include cardiac arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia), renal insufficiency, cardiac failure, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, capillary leak syndrome, multi-organ failure, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome.

The impact of tocilizumab and/or corticosteroids on the incidence and severity of CRS was assessed in 2 subsequent cohorts of LBCL patients in ZUMA-1. Among patients who received tocilizumab and/or corticosteroids for ongoing Grade 1 events, CRS occurred in 93% (38/41), including 2% (1/41) with Grade 3 CRS; no patients experienced a Grade 4 or 5 event. The median time to onset of CRS was 2 days (range: 1-8 days) and the median duration of CRS was 7 days (range: 2-16 days). Prophylactic treatment with corticosteroids was administered to a cohort of 39 patients for 3 days beginning on the day of infusion of YESCARTA. Thirty-one of the 39 patients (79%) developed CRS and were managed with tocilizumab and/or therapeutic doses of corticosteroids with no patients developing ≥ Grade 3 CRS. The median time to onset of CRS was 5 days (range: 1-15 days) and the median duration of CRS was 4 days (range: 1-10 days). Although there is no known mechanistic explanation, consider the risk and benefits of prophylactic corticosteroids in the context of pre-existing comorbidities for the individual patient and the potential for the risk of Grade 4 and prolonged neurologic toxicities.

Ensure that 2 doses of tocilizumab are available prior to YESCARTA infusion. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of CRS at least daily for 7 days at the certified healthcare facility, and for 4 weeks thereafter. Counsel patients to seek immediate medical attention should signs or symptoms of CRS occur at any time. At the first sign of CRS, institute treatment with supportive care, tocilizumab, or tocilizumab and corticosteroids as indicated.

NEUROLOGIC TOXICITIES

Neurologic toxicities (including immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome) that were fatal or life-threatening occurred. Neurologic toxicities occurred in 78% (330/422) of all patients with NHL receiving YESCARTA, including ≥ Grade 3 in 25%. Neurologic toxicities occurred in 87% (94/108) of patients with LBCL in ZUMA-1, including ≥ Grade 3 in 31% and in 74% (124/168) of patients in ZUMA-7 including ≥ Grade 3 in 25%. The median time to onset was 4 days (range: 1-43 days) and the median duration was 17 days for patients with LBCL in ZUMA-1. The median time to onset for neurologic toxicity was 5 days (range: 1-133 days) and the median duration was 15 days in patients with LBCL in ZUMA-7. Neurologic toxicities occurred in 77% (112/146) of patients with iNHL, including ≥ Grade 3 in 21%. The median time to onset was 6 days (range: 1-79 days) and the median duration was 16 days. Ninety-eight percent of all neurologic toxicities in patients with LBCL and 99% of all neurologic toxicities in patients with iNHL occurred within the first 8 weeks of YESCARTA infusion. Neurologic toxicities occurred within the first 7 days of infusion for 87% of affected patients with LBCL and 74% of affected patients with iNHL.

The most common neurologic toxicities (≥ 10%) in all patients combined included encephalopathy (50%), headache (43%), tremor (29%), dizziness (21%), aphasia (17%), delirium (15%), and insomnia (10%). Prolonged encephalopathy lasting up to 173 days was noted. Serious events, including aphasia, leukoencephalopathy, dysarthria, lethargy, and seizures occurred. Fatal and serious cases of cerebral edema and encephalopathy, including late-onset encephalopathy, have occurred.

The impact of tocilizumab and/or corticosteroids on the incidence and severity of neurologic toxicities was assessed in 2 subsequent cohorts of LBCL patients in ZUMA-1. Among patients who received corticosteroids at the onset of Grade 1 toxicities, neurologic toxicities occurred in 78% (32/41), and 20% (8/41) had Grade 3 neurologic toxicities; no patients experienced a Grade 4 or 5 event. The median time to onset of neurologic toxicities was 6 days (range: 1-93 days) with a median duration of 8 days (range: 1-144 days). Prophylactic treatment with corticosteroids was administered to a cohort of 39 patients for 3 days beginning on the day of infusion of YESCARTA. Of those patients, 85% (33/39) developed neurologic toxicities, 8% (3/39) developed Grade 3, and 5% (2/39) developed Grade 4 neurologic toxicities. The median time to onset of neurologic toxicities was 6 days (range: 1-274 days) with a median duration of 12 days (range: 1-107 days). Prophylactic corticosteroids for management of CRS and neurologic toxicities may result in a higher grade of neurologic toxicities or prolongation of neurologic toxicities, delay the onset of and decrease the duration of CRS.

Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of neurologic toxicities at least daily for 7 days at the certified healthcare facility, and for 4 weeks thereafter, and treat promptly.

REMS

Because of the risk of CRS and neurologic toxicities, YESCARTA is available only through a restricted program called the YESCARTA and TECARTUS REMS Program which requires that: Healthcare facilities that dispense and administer YESCARTA must be enrolled and comply with the REMS requirements and must have on-site, immediate access to a minimum of 2 doses of tocilizumab for each patient for infusion within 2 hours after YESCARTA infusion, if needed for treatment of CRS. Certified healthcare facilities must ensure that healthcare providers who prescribe, dispense, or administer YESCARTA are trained in the management of CRS and neurologic toxicities. Further information is available at www.YescartaTecartusREMS.com or 1-844-454-KITE (5483).

HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTIONS

Allergic reactions, including serious hypersensitivity reactions or anaphylaxis, may occur with the infusion of YESCARTA.

SERIOUS INFECTIONS

Severe or life-threatening infections occurred. Infections (all grades) occurred in 45% of patients with NHL; ≥ Grade 3 infections occurred in 17% of patients, including ≥ Grade 3 infections with an unspecified pathogen in 12%, bacterial infections in 5%, viral infections in 3%, and fungal infections in 1%. YESCARTA should not be administered to patients with clinically significant active systemic infections. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infection before and after infusion and treat appropriately. Administer prophylactic antimicrobials according to local guidelines.

Febrile neutropenia was observed in 36% of all patients with NHL and 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.

In immunosuppressed patients, including those who have received YESCARTA, life-threatening and fatal opportunistic infections including disseminated fungal infections (e.g., candida sepsis and aspergillus infections) and viral reactivation (e.g., human herpes virus-6 [HHV-6] encephalitis and JC virus progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy [PML]) have been reported. The possibility of HHV-6 encephalitis and PML should be considered in immunosuppressed patients with neurologic events and appropriate diagnostic evaluations should be performed.

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, including YESCARTA. Perform screening for HBV, HCV, and HIV in accordance with clinical guidelines before collection of cells for manufacturing.

PROLONGED CYTOPENIAS

Patients may exhibit cytopenias for several weeks following lymphodepleting chemotherapy and YESCARTA infusion. ≥ Grade 3 cytopenias not resolved by Day 30 following YESCARTA infusion occurred in 39% of all patients with NHL and included neutropenia (33%), thrombocytopenia (13%), and anemia (8%). Monitor blood counts after infusion.

HYPOGAMMAGLOBULINEMIA

B-cell aplasia and hypogammaglobulinemia can occur. Hypogammaglobulinemia was reported as an adverse reaction in 14% of all patients with NHL. Monitor immunoglobulin levels after treatment and manage using infection precautions, antibiotic prophylaxis, and immunoglobulin replacement. The safety of immunization with live viral vaccines during or following YESCARTA 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 YESCARTA treatment, and until immune recovery following treatment.

SECONDARY MALIGNANCIES

Secondary malignancies may develop. Monitor life-long for secondary malignancies. In the event that one occurs, contact Kite at 1-844-454-KITE (5483) to obtain instructions on patient samples to collect for testing.

EFFECTS ON ABILITY TO DRIVE AND USE MACHINES

Due to the potential for neurologic events, including altered mental status or seizures, patients are at risk for altered or decreased consciousness or coordination in the 8 weeks following YESCARTA infusion. Advise patients to refrain from driving and engaging in hazardous occupations or activities, such as operating heavy or potentially dangerous machinery, during this initial period.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The most common non-laboratory adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 20%) in patients with LBCL in ZUMA-7 included fever, CRS, fatigue, hypotension, encephalopathy, tachycardia, diarrhea, headache, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, febrile neutropenia, chills, cough, infection with an unspecified pathogen, dizziness, tremor, decreased appetite, edema, hypoxia, abdominal pain, aphasia, constipation, and vomiting.

The most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 20%) in patients with LBCL in ZUMA-1 included CRS, fever, hypotension, encephalopathy, tachycardia, fatigue, headache, decreased appetite, chills, diarrhea, febrile neutropenia, infections with an unspecified, nausea, hypoxia, tremor, cough, vomiting, dizziness, constipation, and cardiac arrhythmias.

The most common non-laboratory adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 20%) in patients with iNHL in ZUMA-5 included fever, CRS, hypotension, encephalopathy, fatigue, headache, infections with an unspecified, tachycardia, febrile neutropenia, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, tremor, chills, diarrhea, constipation, decreased appetite, cough, vomiting, hypoxia, arrhythmia, and dizziness.

About the CIBMTR

The Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research is a nonprofit research collaboration between the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match, in Minneapolis, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. The CIBMTR collaborates with the global scientific community to increase survival and enrich quality of life for patients. The CIBMTR facilitates critical observational and interventional research through scientific and statistical expertise, a large network of centers, and a unique database of long-term clinical data for more than 600,000 people who have received hematopoietic cell transplantation and other cellular therapies. Learn more at cibmtr.org.

About Kite

Kite, a Gilead Company, is a global biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California, focused on cell therapy to treat and potentially cure cancer. As the global cell therapy leader, Kite has treated more patients with CAR T-cell therapy than any other company. Kite has the largest in-house cell therapy manufacturing network in the world, spanning process development, vector manufacturing, clinical trial production and commercial product manufacturing. For more information on Kite, please visit www.kitepharma.com.

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including Kite’s ability to increase its CAR T-cell therapy manufacturing capacity, timely manufacture and deliver such therapies or produce an amount of supply sufficient to satisfy demand for such therapies; Kite’s ability to initiate, progress or complete clinical trials within currently anticipated timelines or at all; the possibility of unfavorable results from ongoing or additional clinical trials; Kite’s ability to receive regulatory approvals in a timely manner or at all, and the risk that any such approvals may be subject to significant limitations on use; the risk that CAR T-cell therapy will not be broadly accepted by physicians, patients, hospitals, cancer treatment centers, payers and others in the medical community; and any assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. These and other risks, uncertainties and other factors are described in detail in Gilead’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 20, 2022 as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead and Kite and Gilead and Kite assume no obligation and disclaim any intent to update any such forward-looking statements.

U.S. Prescribing Information for Yescarta including BOXED WARNING is available at www.kitepharma.com and www.gilead.com.

Kite, the Kite logo, Yescarta, and GILEAD are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc. or its related companies.

Contacts

Jacquie Ross, Investors

investor_relations@gilead.com

Anna Padula, Kite Media

apadula@kitepharma.com