Not intended for U.S. and UK Media
Berlin, August 8, 2022 – Bayer announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for the oral androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) darolutamide in combination with docetaxel for the treatment of patients with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC).
The approval is based on positive results of the Phase III ARASENS trial that demonstrated darolutamide plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and docetaxel significantly reduced the risk of death by 32.5% compared to ADT plus docetaxel. These results were recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Darolutamide is approved in more than 70 markets around the world, including the U.S., the European Union (EU), Japan and China, under the brand name Nubeqa™, for the treatment of patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC), who are at high risk of developing metastatic disease. The compound is also being investigated in further studies across various stages of prostate cancer.
“Darolutamide plus ADT and docetaxel has shown significant benefit in overall survival and a favorable safety profile for patients with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer,” said Matthew Smith, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Genitourinary Malignancies Program, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. “This new indication for darolutamide is particularly meaningful, as it highlights its proven tolerability and provides a new option for patients.”
Prostate cancer remains the second leading cancer-related cause of death among men in the U.S., with up to one-third of patients developing metastatic disease.1,2 The incidence of mHSPC has increased by 72% in the U.S. over the past 10 years.3 Approximately one in three patients who are diagnosed with mHSPC survive the disease five years or longer, with most eventually experiencing progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).2,3
“With compelling data from the Phase III ARASENS and ARAMIS trials, darolutamide has now demonstrated significant efficacy and tolerability in mHSPC, in addition to high-risk nmCRPC, and extends benefit to a much broader population,” said Christine Roth, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of the Oncology SBU at Bayer. “This approval reaffirms Bayer’s commitment to patients across different stages of prostate cancer, providing these eligible patients with a reliable treatment option.”
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the U.S., with chances of survival decreasing dramatically for those diagnosed with mHSPC compared to localized prostate cancer,” said Charles J. Ryan, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). “This approval adds a different treatment approach for mHSPC patients and their physicians to choose from.”
The application received Priority Review designation granted by the FDA and was submitted under the FDA’s Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) pilot program, which aims to provide a more efficient review process of applications to ensure that safe and effective cancer treatments are available to patients as early as possible. Ongoing reviews are also being conducted under the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence’s (OCE) Project Orbis initiative, which provides a framework for concurrent submission and review of cancer treatments among participating international health authorities.
Darolutamide is developed jointly by Bayer and Orion Corporation, a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company.
About the ARASENS Trial
The ARASENS trial is the only randomized, Phase III, multi-center, double-blind, trial which was prospectively designed to compare the use of a second-generation oral androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) darolutamide plus ADT and chemotherapy docetaxel to ADT plus docetaxel (a guideline recommended standard-of-care) in metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). A total of 1,306 newly diagnosed patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive 600 mg of darolutamide twice a day or matching placebo, plus ADT and docetaxel.
The primary endpoint of this trial was overall survival (OS). Secondary endpoints included time to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), time to pain progression, time to first symptomatic skeletal event (SSE), time to initiation of subsequent anticancer therapy, all evaluated at 12‐week intervals, as well as adverse events (AEs) as a measure of safety and tolerability. Results from this trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine4. The ARASENS trial demonstrated that darolutamide plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and docetaxel significantly reduced the risk of death by 32.5% compared to ADT plus docetaxel4. Improvements in the secondary endpoints supported the benefit observed in the primary endpoint, overall survival4.
About Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed malignancy in men worldwide. In 2020, an estimated 1.4 million men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 375,000 died from the disease worldwide.5
At the time of diagnosis, most men have localized prostate cancer, meaning their cancer is confined to the prostate gland and can be treated with curative surgery or radiotherapy. Upon relapse, when the disease will metastasize or spread, the disease is hormone-sensitive and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the cornerstone of treatment. Current treatment options for men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) include hormone therapy, such as ADT, androgen receptor pathway inhibitors plus ADT or a combination of the docetaxel chemotherapy and ADT. Despite these treatments, a large proportion of men with mHSPC will eventually experience progression to metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), a condition with high morbidity and limited survival.
About Nubeqa™ (darolutamide)
Darolutamide is an oral androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) with a distinct chemical structure that binds to the receptor with high affinity and exhibits strong antagonistic activity, thereby inhibiting the receptor function and the growth of prostate cancer cells. The low potential for blood-brain barrier penetration for darolutamide is supported by preclinical models and neuroimaging data in healthy humans. This is supported by the overall low incidence of central nervous system (CNS)-related adverse events (AEs) compared to placebo as seen in the ARAMIS Phase III trial and the improved verbal learning and memory observed in the darolutamide arm of the Phase II ODENZA trial.
The product is approved under the brand name Nubeqa™ in more than 70 markets around the world, including the U.S., EU, Japan, China, for the treatment of patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC), who are at high risk of developing metastatic disease. The compound is also being investigated in further studies across various stages of prostate cancer, including in the ARANOTE Phase III trial evaluating darolutamide plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) versus ADT alone for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC), as well as the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group (ANZUP) led international Phase III co-operative group DASL-HiCaP (ANZUP1801) trial evaluating darolutamide as an adjuvant treatment for localized prostate cancer with very high risk of recurrence. Information about these trials can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
About Prostate Cancer at Bayer
Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The company has the passion and determination to develop new medicines that help improve and extend the lives of people living with cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men1 and a key area of focus for Bayer. The company’s franchise includes two products on the market (Nubeqa™ and Xofigo™) and several compounds in development, including a unique approach of advancing targeted alpha therapies. Bayer is focused on addressing the unique needs of prostate cancer patients, providing treatments that extend their lives throughout the different stages of the disease and allowing them to continue their everyday activities, so that they can live longer, better lives.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2021, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 44.1 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
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1. Siegel DA, O’Neil ME, Richards TB, Dowling NF, Weir HK. Prostate Cancer Incidence and Survival, by Stage and Race/Ethnicity — United States, 2001–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1473–1480. http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6941a1.
2. Ng, K., Smith, S., Shamash, J. Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer (mHSPC): Advances and Treatment Strategies in the First-Line Setting. Oncol Ther 8, 209–230 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40487-020-00119-z.
3. Hahn AW, Higano CS, Taplin ME, Ryan CJ, Agarwal N. Metastatic Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer: Optimizing Patient Selection and Treatment. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2018 May 23;38:363-371. https://doi.org/10.1200/edbk_200967
4. Smith M., Hussain M., Saad F. et al. Darolutamide and Survival in Metastatic, Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2022
5. Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.3322/caac.21660. Accessed May 2022.