Marketing authorization has been granted to a drug to treat relapsed/refractory (R/R) marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) without chemotherapy, it was announced today (November 2).
The European Commission (EC) gave the authorization to biotech company, BeiGene, for Brukinsa (zanubrutinib), which treats adults with the condition who have received at least one prior anti-CD20-based therapy.
The approval is applicable to all 27 member states of the European Union (EU), plus Iceland and Norway. BeiGene is focused on developing innovative and affordable oncology medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for patients worldwide.
The EC granted an additional year of marketing protection because the data submitted for the therapeutic indication demonstrated a significant clinical benefit for Brukinsa in comparison with existing therapies.
Mehrdad Mobasher, chief medical officer of hematology at BeiGene, said: “We are proud of what this approval means for European MZL patients, who previously did not have an approved BTK inhibitor as a treatment option for this rare hematological malignancy.
“This milestone builds on the track record we’ve built with Brukinsa to date, with approvals in more than 55 countries and regions, as we continue to fulfill our commitment to build a transformational global R&D model that enables broader, faster access to novel medicines.”
The EC approval follows a positive opinion granted in September by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) based on results from the multicenter, global, single-arm, open-label, phase 2 MAGNOLIA trial in patients with R/R MZL who received at least one anti-CD-20 based regimen.
In the trial, Brukinsa achieved a high overall response rate of 68% with 26% of patients achieving complete remission, as assessed by an Independent Review Committee (IRC). Responses were observed in all patients regardless of MZL subtypes. Brukinsa also delivered rapid and durable disease control with a median time to response of 2.8 months.
It was generally well-tolerated and safety in MZL was consistent with its established profile. BeiGene said the most common grade adverse events (less than 5%) included neutropenia (23%), pneumonia (11%), thrombocytopenia (8%) and anemia (8%). There were low rates of discontinuation due to adverse events at 3.5%, highlighting that Brukinsa continued to be well-tolerated.
BeiGene’s Brukinsa: a hemotherapy free treatment option
“This milestone marks the first and only approved BTK inhibitor for marginal zone lymphoma in Europe,” said Pier Luigi Zinzani, professor of Hematology at the University of Bologna, Italy.
“As there is no current standard of care in Europe, the approval of Brukinsa provides a chemoterapy-free treatment option for people with MZL that has shown meaningful efficacy with durable and high response rates across MZL subtypes.”
Gerwin Winter, senior vice president, head of Europe at BeiGene, added: “We are excited to bring the first and only BTKi approved for MZL to patients in Europe and look forward to continuing to work with our growing and dedicated teams to make our medicine accessible to patients who need them across Europe.”