The first cohort testing TTFields plus gemcitabine suggests improved survival and response rate compared to a historical control of gemcitabine alone
ST. HELIER, Jersey–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Novocure (NASDAQ: NVCR) announced today that the last patient has been enrolled in the PANOVA trial, a phase 2 pilot trial testing Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) plus chemotherapy in 40 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. The final data collection date will be six months after the last patient in.
“The first cohort of the PANOVA trial demonstrated the safety and feasibility of combining TTFields with gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Marc Kueng, Senior Internist and Medical Oncologist at the Cantonal Hospital of Fribourg in Switzerland. “The combination with nab-paclitaxel has a strong scientific rationale and is compliant with the current standard of care. We are looking forward to opening a randomized-controlled study testing the efficacy of TTFields in this difficult disease.”
The prospective, single-arm study includes two cohorts of 20 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer whose tumors could not be removed surgically and who had not received prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Novocure presented data from the first cohort of the trial at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2016 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in January 2016.
Data from the first cohort demonstrated the safety of the combined treatment, and also suggest improved survival and response rate among patients who received TTFields therapy with gemcitabine compared to a historical control of patients who received gemcitabine alone. PANOVA patients who received TTFields therapy plus first-line gemcitabine experienced a median progression free survival of 8.3 months compared to 3.7 months for a historical control of gemcitabine alone, and a median overall survival of 14.9 months compared to 6.7 months for a historical control. Median one-year survival was 55 percent compared to 22 percent for a historical control. Of the 19 of 20 evaluable tumors, 30 percent had partial responses compared to 7 percent with gemcitabine alone and another 30 percent had stable disease. Novocure accelerated planning for a phase 3 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer after obtaining results for the first cohort of PANOVA.
The PANOVA trial was expanded in January 2015 to include a second cohort of 20 patients testing TTFields plus gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel. Preclinical models have demonstrated increased cancer cell sensitivity when TTFields therapy is combined with taxane-based chemotherapies, such as nab-paclitaxel.
“Our preclinical research of TTFields therapy combined with taxane-based chemotherapies demonstrated a synergistic effect,” said Dr. Eilon Kirson, Chief Science Officer and Head of Research and Development at Novocure. “Given that synergy, we are optimistic about what the second cohort will show when nab-paclitaxel is added to the treatment regimen and look forward to sharing the results.”
About Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. The National Cancer Institute estimated that about 48,960 people would be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and about 40,560 people would die from the disease in 2015. Five-year survival among pancreatic cancer patients is less than 6 percent. Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) therapy is not approved for the treatment of pancreatic cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The safety and effectiveness of TTFields therapy for pancreatic cancer has not been established.
Novocure is a commercial-stage oncology company developing a novel, proprietary therapy called Tumor Treating Fields, or TTFields, for the treatment of solid tumor cancers. Headquartered in Jersey, Novocure has U.S. operations in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Malvern, Pennsylvania, and New York City. Additionally, the company has offices in Germany, Switzerland and Japan, and a research center in Haifa, Israel. For additional information about the company, please visit novocure.com or follow us at www.twitter.com/novocure.
In the United States, Optune is intended as a treatment for adult patients (22 years of age or older) with histologically-confirmed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
In the United States, Optune with temozolomide is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed, supratentorial glioblastoma following maximal debulking surgery and completion of radiation therapy together with concomitant standard of care chemotherapy.
In the United States, for the treatment of recurrent GBM, Optune is indicated following histologically-or radiologically-confirmed recurrence in the supratentorial region of the brain after receiving chemotherapy. The device is intended to be used as a monotherapy, and is intended as an alternative to standard medical therapy for GBM after surgical and radiation options have been exhausted.
In the European Union, Optune is intended for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed GBM, after surgery and radiotherapy with adjuvant temozolomide, concomitant to maintenance temozolomide. The treatment is intended for adult patients, 18 years of age or older, and should be started more than four weeks after surgery and radiation therapy with adjuvant temozolomide. Treatment may be given together with maintenance temozolomide and after maintenance temozolomide is stopped.
In the European Union, Optune is also intended for the treatment of patients with recurrent GBM who have progressed after surgery, radiotherapy and temozolomide treatment for their primary disease. The treatment is intended for adult patients, 18 years of age or older, and should be started more than 4 weeks after the latest surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Patients should only use Optune under the supervision of a physician properly trained in use of the device. Full prescribing information is available at www.optune.com/safety or by calling toll free 1-855-281-9301 in the US or by email at supportEMEA@novocure.com in the European Union.
In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide Novocure’s current expectations or forecasts of future events. These may include statements regarding anticipated scientific progress on its research programs, development of potential products, interpretation of clinical results, prospects for regulatory approval, manufacturing development and capabilities, market prospects for its products, and other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts. You may identify some of these forward-looking statements by the use of words in the statements such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” or other words and terms of similar meaning. Novocure’s performance and financial results could differ materially from those reflected in these forward-looking statements due to general financial, economic, regulatory and political conditions as well as more specific risks and uncertainties facing Novocure such as those set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 1, 2016, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Given these risks and uncertainties, any or all of these forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Therefore, you should not rely on any such factors or forward-looking statements. Furthermore, Novocure does not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statement, except as required by law. Any forward-looking statements herein speak only as of the date hereof. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits this discussion.
Media and Investor Contact:
Ashley Cordova, 212-767-7558