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Calquence Demonstrated Fewer Incidences of Atrial Fibrillation Versus Ibrutinib in Previously Treated Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia and Sustained Patient Benefit at Four Years in the Front-line Setting

Calquence Demonstrated Fewer Incidences of Atrial Fibrillation Versus Ibrutinib in Previously Treated Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia | Pharmtech Focus

Final results from the head-to-head ELEVATE-RR Phase III trial of AstraZeneca’s Calquence (acalabrutinib) demonstrated non-inferior progression-free survival (PFS) and statistically significantly fewer events of atrial fibrillation versus ibrutinib in adults with previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), the most common type of leukaemia in adults.

Separately, updated results at four years of follow up from the ELEVATE-TN Phase III trial continued to show a strong PFS benefit for Calquence as combination therapy or as monotherapy in previously untreated patients with CLL.

At a median follow up of 40.9 months, the ELEVATE-RR trial met its primary endpoint of PFS non-inferiority versus ibrutinib with a median PFS of 38.4 months in both arms (based on a hazard ratio [HR] of 1.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.79-1.27). Patients treated with Calquence had a statistically significantly lower incidence of all-grade atrial fibrillation compared with patients treated with ibrutinib (9.4% versus 16.0%), a key secondary endpoint. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rate that can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

John C. Byrd, MD, Distinguished University Professor, The Ohio State University, and lead investigator of the ELEVATE-RR trial, said: “Cardiac adverse events are an important consideration for treating chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients with Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitors because they can produce significant morbidity in some cases and also lead patients to discontinue treatment. These data provide compelling evidence that acalabrutinib is a more tolerable option with reduced cardiovascular toxicity and overall fewer discontinuations due to adverse events, giving clinicians further reassurance when prescribing this medicine that patients can stay on treatment while maintaining ongoing control of their disease.”

Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, said: “Tolerability is a critical factor in treating patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia who often remain on medicines for many years and experience multiple comorbidities. The totality of the Calquence data at ASCO confirm our confidence in the favourable benefit-risk profile of this medicine, with over 40 months of follow up in each of these two trials. Together, the results provide strong evidence that Calquence is a preferred option for people living with this chronic and devastating disease.”

The results of both trials were presented during the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting on 7 June 2021.


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