ALAMEDA - Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) today announced that Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda), its partner responsible for the clinical development and commercialization of CABOMETYX in Japan, and Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Ono), have submitted a supplemental application to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) for Manufacturing and Marketing approval of CABOMETYX in combination with OPDIVO (nivolumab) for the treatment of patients with unresectable, advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
Takeda and Ono's application is based on the results of CheckMate -9ER, a phase 3 pivotal trial evaluating CABOMETYX in combination with OPDIVO in previously untreated patients with advanced or metastatic RCC compared with sunitinib. In CheckMate -9ER, CABOMETYX in combination with OPDIVO demonstrated superior overall survival, doubled median progression-free survival and objective response rate, and demonstrated a favorable safety profile versus sunitinib. These results were presented as a Proffered Paper during a Presidential Symposium at the European Society for Medical Oncology Virtual Congress 2020.
'Following our recent announcement that the U.S. FDA accepted and granted Priority Review to our supplemental new drug application for CABOMETYX in combination with OPDIVO for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, we're excited that our partner Takeda along with Ono have also advanced this combination regimen toward potential regulatory approval in Japan,' said Gisela Schwab, M.D., President, Product Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Exelixis. 'The results of the CheckMate -9ER trial suggest CABOMETYX in combination with OPDIVO may become an important new treatment option for patients with advanced kidney cancer in need of new therapies.'
Per the terms of Exelixis and Takeda's collaboration and license agreement, Exelixis is eligible to receive a $10 million milestone payment from Takeda as a result of this latest submission for RCC. Following the milestone associated with this regulatory filing, Exelixis will be eligible to receive a first-sale milestone payment of $20 million from Takeda related to the combination of CABOMETYX and OPDIVO for the treatment of RCC. Exelixis continues to be eligible to receive additional development, regulatory and first-sale milestones for potential future cabozantinib indications, and is also eligible for sales revenue milestones and royalties on net sales of cabozantinib in Japan. Takeda fully funds cabozantinib development activities that are exclusively for the benefit of Japan and has the opportunity to share the costs associated with global cabozantinib clinical trials, providing the company opts into those trials.
Takeda received approval in March 2020 from the Japanese MHLW to manufacture and market CABOMETYX as a treatment for patients with curatively unresectable or metastatic RCC.
About CheckMate -9ER
CheckMate -9ER is an open-label, randomized, multi-national phase 3 trial evaluating patients with previously untreated advanced or metastatic RCC. A total of 651 patients (23% favorable risk, 58% intermediate risk, 20% poor risk; 25% PD-L11%) were randomized to receive OPDIVO plus CABOMETYX (n=323) vs. sunitinib (n=328). The primary endpoint is progression-free survival. Secondary endpoints include overall survival and objective response rate. The primary efficacy analysis is comparing the doublet combination vs. sunitinib in all randomized patients. The trial is sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical Co. and co-funded by Exelixis, Ipsen and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
The American Cancer Society's 2020 statistics cite kidney cancer as among the top ten most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer among both men and women in the U.S.1 Clear cell RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults.2 If detected in its early stages, the five-year survival rate for RCC is high; for patients with advanced or late-stage metastatic RCC, however, the five-year survival rate is only 12%.2 Approximately 32,000 patients in the U.S. and 71,000 worldwide will require systemic treatment for advanced kidney cancer in 2020.3
About 70% of RCC cases are known as 'clear cell' carcinomas, based on histology.4 The majority of clear cell RCC tumors have below-normal levels of a protein called von Hippel-Lindau, which leads to higher levels of MET, AXL and VEGF.5,6 These proteins promote tumor angiogenesis (blood vessel growth), growth, invasiveness and metastasis.7,8,9,10 MET and AXL may provide escape pathways that drive resistance to VEGF receptor inhibitors.6,7
About CABOMETYX (cabozantinib)
In the U.S., CABOMETYX tablets are approved for the treatment of patients with advanced RCC and for the treatment of patients with HCC who have been previously treated with sorafenib. CABOMETYX tablets have also received regulatory approvals in the European Union and additional countries and regions worldwide. In 2016, Exelixis granted Ipsen exclusive rights for the commercialization and further clinical development of cabozantinib outside of the United States and Japan. In 2017, Exelixis granted exclusive rights to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited for the commercialization and further clinical development of cabozantinib for all future indications in Japan. Exelixis holds the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize cabozantinib in the United States.
Founded in 1994, Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) is a commercially successful, oncology-focused biotechnology company that strives to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines for difficult-to-treat cancers. Following early work in model system genetics, we established a broad drug discovery and development platform that has served as the foundation for our continued efforts to bring new cancer therapies to patients in need. Our discovery efforts have resulted in four commercially available products, CABOMETYX (cabozantinib), COMETRIQ (cabozantinib), COTELLIC (cobimetinib) and MINNEBRO (esaxerenone), and we have entered into partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies to bring these important medicines to patients worldwide. Supported by revenues from our marketed products and collaborations, we are committed to prudently reinvesting in our business to maximize the potential of our pipeline. We are supplementing our existing therapeutic assets with targeted business development activities and internal drug discovery - all to deliver the next generation of Exelixis medicines and help patients recover stronger and live longer. Exelixis is a member of the Standard & Poor's (S&P) MidCap 400 index, which measures the performance of profitable mid-sized companies.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements related to: Exelixis' expectation that, if approved, CABOYMETYX in combination with Opdivo may become an important new treatment option in Japan for patients with advanced kidney cancer in need of new therapies; the anticipated timing for receipt of a $10 million milestone payment from Takeda for Takeda's regulatory submission in Japan for CABOMETYX in combination with Opdivo for the treatment for unresectable, advanced or metastatic RCC; Exelixis' eligibility for future development, regulatory and first-sale milestones, plus sales revenue milestones and royalties on net sales under its collaboration with Takeda and Exelixis' plans to reinvest in its business to maximize the potential of the company's pipeline, including through targeted business development activities and internal drug discovery. Any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward-looking statements and are based upon Exelixis' current plans, assumptions, beliefs, expectations, estimates and projections. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation: complexities and the unpredictability of the regulatory review and approval processes, including the risk that the Japanese MHLW may not approve CABOMETYX in combination with Opdivo as a treatment for unresectable, advanced or metastatic RCC in a timely fashion, if at all; unexpected concerns that may arise as a result of the occurrence of adverse safety events or additional data analyses of clinical trials evaluating CABOMETYX in combination with Opdivo; Exelixis' dependence on its relationships with its collaboration partners, including their pursuit of regulatory approvals for partnered compounds in new indications and their adherence to their obligations under relevant collaboration agreements; the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Exelixis' product development and commercial activities; Exelixis' ability to protect its intellectual property rights; market competition, including the potential for competitors to obtain approval for generic versions of CABOMETYX; changes in economic and business conditions and other factors affecting Exelixis and its partners to obtain regulatory approval for cabozantinib in new indications discussed under the caption 'Risk Factors' in Exelixis' Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 6, 2020, and in Exelixis' future filings with the SEC. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Exelixis as of the date of this press release, and Exelixis undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, except as required by law.
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