ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) today announced long-term follow-up data from its pivotal Phase 2 PACE clinical trial of Iclusig ® (ponatinib), its approved BCR-ABL inhibitor, in heavily pretreated patients with resistant or intolerant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Responses have been maintained long-term in chronic phase CML (CP-CML) patients. The study shows that patients treated with Iclusig continued to demonstrate anti-leukemic activity with a median follow-up of 4.0 years for CP-CML. Additionally, 96 percent of CP-CML patients who underwent ponatinib dose reductions while in response maintained their responses (MCyR) at the four year timepoint.

"We remain very pleased by these continued responses in the PACE study in such a heavily pretreated patient population, as 59 percent of patients had previously received three or more approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Altogether, 82 percent of CP-CML patients who achieved MCyR are estimated to remain in MCyR at four years," stated Jorge E. Cortes, M.D., professor and deputy chair, department of leukemia, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "These data showing long-term major cytogenic response offer the optimism of favorable outcomes for many patients who previously had no or very limited treatment options available."

The data were featured at the 21 st Conference of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

PACE Trial Update

The efficacy and safety of ponatinib in CML and Ph+ ALL patients resistant or intolerant to dasatinib or nilotinib, or with the T315I mutation, were evaluated in the PACE trial. A total of 449 patients were treated with ponatinib at a starting dose of 45 mg/day. An estimated 93 percent of patients received two or more approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), and 59 percent of all patients received three or more approved TKIs. Enrollment in the PACE trial was completed in October 2011.

Updated data on CP-CML patients (n=270) from the ongoing trial indicate that with a median follow-up of 48.2 months (data as of August 3, 2015), 110 patients (41%) continued to receive ponatinib. Additional data for CP-CML patients include:

  • 59 percent of CP-CML patients achieved MCyR (primary endpoint) at any time.
    • 82 percent of patients who achieved MCyR are estimated to remain in MCyR at four years by Kaplan-Meier analysis.
  • 39 percent of patients achieved a major molecular response (MMR) or better at any time.
  • By Kaplan-Meier analysis, progression-free survival at four years is estimated to be 56 percent.
  • Overall survival at four years is estimated to be 77 percent.
  • 23 percent of CP-CML patients experienced arterial occlusive events (AOE) that were designated a serious adverse event (SAE), and 29 percent of CP-CML patients experienced any AOE.
  • 4 percent of CP-CML patients experienced a venous thromboembolic SAE, and 5 percent of all patients experienced a venous thromboembolic SAE.
  • The most common any-grade treatment-emergent adverse events occurring in = 20 percent of CP-CML patients included abdominal pain (46%), rash (47%), thrombocytopenia (45%), headache (43%), constipation (41%), and dry skin (42%).

"These data continue to show that ongoing CP-CML patients in the PACE trial have retained long-term cytogenetic and molecular responses at a median of four years follow-up," stated Timothy P. Clackson, Ph.D., president of research and development and chief scientific officer at ARIAD. "We currently have two additional trials underway evaluating Iclusig. Our OPTIC randomized trial evaluating Iclusig at starting doses of 45 mg/day or lower, is currently enrolling patients. Outside the U.S., we initiated our randomized Phase 3 trial of Iclusig in second-line patients with CP-CML called OPTIC-2L in December of 2015 and expect full enrollment in the trial in 2018."

Efficacy Update Following Dose-Reduction Recommendations

(Data from October 10, 2013 to August 3, 2015)

On October 10, 2013, dose-reduction recommendations were provided by ARIAD to investigators for patients remaining on the PACE trial. The following dose reductions were recommended, unless the benefit-risk analysis warranted treatment with a higher dose:
  • CP-CML patients who already achieved a MCyR should have their ponatinib dose reduced to 15 mg/day,
  • CP-CML patients who had not already achieved MCyR should have their dose reduced to 30 mg/day, and
  • Advanced-phase patients should have their dose reduced to 30 mg/day.

As of August 3, 2015, with an additional 1.9 years (22 months) of follow up after these recommendations, maintenance of response (MCyR) in CP-CML patients was 95 percent (56 of 59) and 100 percent (25 patients), respectively, for patients who were either at 15 mg/day in October 2013 or were reduced to 15 mg/day after October 2013.
  • Of the 69 patients who were in MCyR as of October 10, 2013 and had a dose reduction, 66 patients (96%) maintained their response at 1.9 years following prospective dose reduction.
  • Of the 51 patients who were in MMR as of October 10, 2013 and had a dose reduction, 46 patients (90%) maintained MMR at 1.9 years following dose reduction.
  • 35 patients in MCyR did not undergo any dose reductions (the majority of which were already at a reduced dose of 30 mg/day or 15 mg/day as of October 10, 2013); of these, 33 patients (94%) maintained MCyR after 1.9 more years of ponatinib treatment.

Safety Update Following Dose-Reduction Recommendations (Data from October 10, 2013 to August 3, 2015)
  • Of the patients who underwent dose reduction, six of 75 patients (8%) without prior AOEs had a new AOE during the 1.9-year interval following dose reduction.
  • 31/75 patients reduced from 45 mg to 15 mg
  • 25 /75 patients reduced from 30 mg to 15 mg
  • 19/75 patients reduced either other doses (45 mg to 30 mg or not specified)
  • Of the patients who did not undergo dose reduction, 10 of 62 patients (16%) without prior AOE had a new AOE in the same time interval.
    • 36 /62 patients were at 15 mg
    • 26/62 were at 45 mg or 30 mg

About Iclusig ®  (ponatinib) tablets

Iclusig is a kinase inhibitor. The primary target for Iclusig is BCR-ABL, an abnormal tyrosine kinase that is expressed in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia-chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Iclusig was designed using ARIAD's computational and structure-based drug-design platform specifically to inhibit the activity of BCR-ABL. Iclusig targets not only native BCR-ABL but also its isoforms that carry mutations that confer resistance to treatment, including the T315I mutation, which has been associated with resistance to other approved TKIs.

Iclusig is approved in the U.S., EU, Australia, Switzerland, Israel and Canada.

In the U.S., Iclusig is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the:

Treatment of adult patients with T315I-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase) or T315I-positive Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL).

Treatment of adult patients with chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia or Ph+ ALL for whom no other tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy is indicated.

These indications are based upon response rate. There are no trials verifying an improvement in disease-related symptoms or increased survival with Iclusig.

Limitations of use: Iclusig is not indicated and is not recommended for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed chronic phase CML.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE BOXED WARNING

WARNING: VASCULAR OCCLUSION, HEART FAILURE, and HEPATOTOXICITY

See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning
  • Vascular Occlusion: Arterial and venous thrombosis and occlusions have occurred in at least 27% of Iclusig treated patients, including fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, stenosis of large arterial vessels of the brain, severe peripheral vascular disease, and the need for urgent revascularization procedures. Patients with and without cardiovascular risk factors, including patients less than 50 years old, experienced these events. Monitor for evidence of thromboembolism and vascular occlusion. Interrupt or stop Iclusig immediately for vascular occlusion. A benefit risk consideration should guide a decision to restart Iclusig therapy.
  • Heart Failure, including fatalities, occurred in 8% of Iclusig-treated patients. Monitor cardiac function. Interrupt or stop Iclusig for new or worsening heart failure.
  • Hepatotoxicity, liver failure and death have occurred in Iclusig-treated patients. Monitor hepatic function. Interrupt Iclusig if hepatotoxicity is suspected.

Vascular Occlusion: Arterial and venous thrombosis and occlusions, including fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, stenosis of large arterial vessels of the brain, severe peripheral vascular disease, and the need for urgent revascularization procedures have occurred in at least 27% of Iclusig-treated patients from the phase 1 and phase 2 trials. Iclusig can also cause recurrent or multi-site vascular occlusion. Overall, 20% of Iclusig-treated patients experienced an arterial occlusion and thrombosis event of any grade. Fatal and life-threatening vascular occlusion has occurred within 2 weeks of starting Iclusig treatment and in patients treated with average daily dose intensities as low as 15 mg per day. The median time to onset of the first vascular occlusion event was 5 months. Patients with and without cardiovascular risk factors have experienced vascular occlusion although these events were more frequent with increasing age and in patients with prior history of ischemia, hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia. Interrupt or stop Iclusig immediately in patients who develop vascular occlusion events.

Heart Failure: Fatal and serious heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction occurred in 5% of Iclusig treated patients (22/449). Eight percent of patients (35/449) experienced any grade of heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms consistent with heart failure and treat as clinically indicated, including interruption of Iclusig. Consider discontinuation of Iclusig in patients who develop serious heart failure.

Hepatotoxicity: Iclusig can cause hepatotoxicity, including liver failure and death. Fulminant hepatic failure leading to death occurred in an Iclusig-treated patient within one week of starting Iclusig. Two additional fatal cases of acute liver failure also occurred. The fatal cases occurred in patients with blast phase CML (BP-CML) or Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Severe hepatotoxicity occurred in all disease cohorts. Iclusig treatment may result in elevation in ALT, AST, or both. Monitor liver function tests at baseline, then at least monthly or as clinically indicated. Interrupt, reduce or discontinue Iclusig as clinically indicated.

Hypertension: Treatment-emergent hypertension (defined as systolic BP=140 mm Hg or diastolic BP=90 mm Hg on at least one occasion) occurred in 67% of patients (300/449). Eight patients treated with Iclusig (2%) experienced treatment-emergent symptomatic hypertension as a serious adverse reaction, including one patient (<1%) with hypertensive crisis. Patients may require urgent clinical intervention for hypertension associated with confusion, headache, chest pain, or shortness of breath. In 131 patients with Stage 1 hypertension at baseline, 61% (80/131) developed Stage 2 hypertension. Monitor and manage blood pressure elevations during Iclusig use and treat hypertension to normalize blood pressure. Interrupt, dose reduce, or stop Iclusig if hypertension is not medically controlled. In the event of significant worsening, labile or treatment-resistant hypertension, interrupt treatment and consider evaluating for renal artery stenosis.

Pancreatitis: Clinical pancreatitis occurred in 6% (28/449) of patients (5% Grade 3) treated with Iclusig. Pancreatitis resulted in discontinuation or treatment interruption in 6% of patients (25/449). The incidence of treatment-emergent lipase elevation was 41%. Check serum lipase every 2 weeks for the first 2 months and then monthly thereafter or as clinically indicated. Consider additional serum lipase monitoring in patients with a history of pancreatitis or alcohol abuse. Dose interruption or reduction may be required. In cases where lipase elevations are accompanied by abdominal symptoms, interrupt treatment with Iclusig and evaluate patients for pancreatitis. Do not consider restarting Iclusig until patients have complete resolution of symptoms and lipase levels are less than 1.5 x ULN.

Increased Toxicity in Newly Diagnosed Chronic Phase CML: In a prospective randomized clinical trial in the first line treatment of newly diagnosed patients with chronic phase (CP) CML, single agent Iclusig 45 mg once-daily increased the risk of serious adverse reactions 2-fold compared to singe agent imatinib 400 mg once-daily. The median exposure to treatment was less than 6 months. The trial was halted for safety in October 2013. Arterial and venous thrombosis and occlusions occurred at least twice as frequently in the Iclusig arm compared to the imatinib arm. Compared to imatinib-treated patients, Iclusig-treated patients exhibited a greater incidence of myelosuppression, pancreatitis, hepatotoxicity, cardiac failure, hypertension and skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders. Iclusig is not indicated and is not recommended for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed CP CML.

Neuropathy: Peripheral and cranial neuropathy have occurred in Iclusig-treated patients. Overall, 13% (59/449) of Iclusig-treated patients experienced a peripheral neuropathy event of any grade (2%, grade 3/4). In clinical trials, the most common peripheral neuropathies reported were peripheral neuropathy (4%, 18/449), paresthesia (4%, 17/449), hypoesthesia (2%, 11/449), and hyperesthesia (1%, 5/449). Cranial neuropathy developed in 1% (6/449) of Iclusig-treated patients (<1% grade 3/4).

Of the patients who developed neuropathy, 31% (20/65) developed neuropathy during the first month of treatment. Monitor patients for symptoms of neuropathy, such as hypoesthesia, hyperesthesia, paresthesia, discomfort, a burning sensation, neuropathic pain or weakness. Consider interrupting Iclusig and evaluate if neuropathy is suspected.

Ocular Toxicity: Serious ocular toxicities leading to blindness or blurred vision have occurred in Iclusig-treated patients. Retinal toxicities including macular edema, retinal vein occlusion, and retinal hemorrhage occurred in 3% of Iclusig-treated patients. Conjunctival or corneal irritation, dry eye, or eye pain occurred in 13% of patients. Visual blurring occurred in 6% of the patients. Other ocular toxicities include cataracts, glaucoma, iritis, iridocyclitis, and ulcerative keratitis. Conduct comprehensive eye exams at baseline and periodically during treatment.

Hemorrhage: Serious bleeding events, including fatalities, occurred in 5% (22/449) of patients treated with Iclusig. Hemorrhagic events occurred in 24% of patients. The incidence of serious bleeding events was higher in patients with accelerated phase CML (AP-CML), BP-CML, and Ph+ ALL. Most hemorrhagic events, but not all occurred in patients with grade 4 thrombocytopenia. Interrupt Iclusig for serious or severe hemorrhage and evaluate.

Fluid Retention: Serious fluid retention events occurred in 3% (13/449) of patients treated with Iclusig. One instance of brain edema was fatal. In total, fluid retention occurred in 23% of the patients. The most common fluid retention events were peripheral edema (16%), pleural effusion (7%), and pericardial effusion (3%). Monitor patients for fluid retention and manage patients as clinically indicated. Interrupt, reduce, or discontinue Iclusig as clinically indicated.

Cardiac Arrhythmias: Symptomatic bradyarrhythmias that led to a requirement for pacemaker implantation occurred in 1% (3/449) of Iclusig-treated patients. Advise patients to report signs and symptoms suggestive of slow heart rate (fainting, dizziness, or chest pain). Supraventricular tachyarrhythmias occurred in 5% (25/449) of Iclusig-treated patients. Atrial fibrillation was the most common supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and occurred in 20 patients. For 13 patients, the event led to hospitalization. Advise patients to report signs and symptoms of rapid heart rate (palpitations, dizziness). Interrupt Iclusig and evaluate.

Myelosuppression: Severe (grade 3 or 4) myelosuppression occurred in 48% (215/449) of patients treated with Iclusig. The incidence of these events was greater in patients with AP-CML, BP-CML and Ph+ ALL than in patients with CP-CML. Obtain complete blood counts every 2 weeks for the first 3 months and then monthly or as clinically indicated, and adjust the dose as recommended.

Tumor Lysis Syndrome: Two patients (<1%) with advanced disease (AP-CML, BP-CML, or Ph+ ALL) treated with Iclusig developed serious tumor lysis syndrome. Hyperuricemia occurred in 7% (30/449) of patients overall; the majority had CP-CML (19 patients). Due to the potential for tumor lysis syndrome in patients with advanced disease, ensure adequate hydration and treat high uric acid levels prior to initiating therapy with Iclusig.

Compromised Wound Healing and Gastrointestinal Perforation: Since Iclusig may compromise wound healing, interrupt Iclusig for at least 1 week prior to major surgery. Serious gastrointestinal perforation (fistula) occurred in one patient 38 days post-cholecystectomy.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Iclusig can cause fetal harm. If Iclusig is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking Iclusig, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Advise women to avoid pregnancy while taking Iclusig.

Most common non-hematologic adverse reactions: (=20%) were hypertension, rash, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dry skin, constipation, arthralgia, nausea, and pyrexia. Hematologic adverse reactions included thrombocytopenia, anemia, neutropenia, lymphopenia, and leukopenia.

Please see the full U.S. Prescribing Information for Iclusig, including the Boxed Warning.

About ARIAD

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an orphan oncology company focused on transforming the lives of cancer patients with breakthrough medicines. ARIAD is working on new medicines to advance the treatment of various forms of chronic and acute leukemia, lung cancer and other orphan cancers. ARIAD utilizes computational and structural approaches to design small-molecule drugs that overcome resistance to existing cancer medicines. For additional information, visit http://www.ariad.com or follow ARIAD on Twitter ( @ARIADPharm).

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, each of which are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Any statements contained herein which do not describe historical facts, including, but not limited to the statements made by Drs. Cortes and Clackson, are forward-looking statements that are based on management's expectations and are subject to certain factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, outcome of events, timing and performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These factors, risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, our ongoing strategic review, our ability to successfully commercialize and generate profits from sales of Iclusig and our product candidates, if approved; competition from alternative therapies; our ability to meet anticipated clinical trial commencement, enrollment and completion dates and regulatory filing dates for our products and product candidates and to move new development candidates into the clinic; our ability to execute on our key corporate initiatives; regulatory developments and safety issues, including difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory and pricing and reimbursement approvals to market our products; our reliance on the performance of third-party manufacturers and specialty pharmacies for the supply and distribution of our products and product candidates; the occurrence of adverse safety events with our products and product candidates; the costs associated with our research, development, manufacturing, commercialization and other activities; the conduct, timing and results of preclinical and clinical studies of our products and product candidates, including that preclinical data and early-stage clinical data may not be replicated in later-stage clinical studies; the adequacy of our capital resources and the availability of additional funding; the ability to satisfy our contractual obligations, including under our leases, convertible debt and royalty financing agreements; patent protection and third-party intellectual property claims; litigation; our operations in foreign countries; risks related to key employees, markets, economic conditions, health care reform, prices and reimbursement rates; and other risk factors detailed in our public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Except as otherwise noted, these forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of these statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after this press release. We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

Iclusig ® is a registered trademark of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160613005571/en/

Copyright Business Wire 2010