Innovent Announces NMPA Acceptance of a Supplemental New Drug Application for Sintilimab in Combination with Chemotherapy as First-Line Therapy for Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC)

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SAN FRANCISCO and SUZHOU, China, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Innovent Biologics, Inc. (Innovent) (HKEX: 01801), a world-class biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and commercializes high quality medicines for the treatment of cancer, metabolic, autoimmune and other major diseases, today announced that the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China has accepted the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Sintilimab in combination with chemotherapy (cisplatin plus paclitaxel or cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil) for the first-line treatment of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

The sNDA application is based on the interim analysis of the global randomized, double-blind, multi-center Phase 3 ORIENT-15 clinical trial – which evaluated sintilimab in combination with chemotherapy compared to placebo in combination with chemotherapy as first-line therapy for ESCC. Based on the interim analysis conducted by the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC), sintilimab in combination with chemotherapy demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the primary endpoint of overall survival (OS) compared to placebo in combination with chemotherapy, regardless of PD-L1 expression status. The results of ORIENT-15 were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021 on September 17.

The principal investigator of the ORIENT-15 study, Prof. Shen Lin from Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute, stated,” Esophageal cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer and the fourth leading cause of death from cancer in China, and squamous cell carcinoma is the predominant histologic type. In China, cisplatin plus paclitaxel is widely used to treat patients with ESCC. The results of ORIENT-15 demonstrated that sintilimab plus chemotherapy significantly improved overall survival and progression-free survival compared to chemotherapy. These results suggest that this sintilimab regimen could be a suitable treatment option for ESCC patients in China.”

Dr. Hui Zhou, Senior Vice President of Innovent, stated, “There is a huge unmet clinical need for advanced or metastatic ESCC. The acceptance of this sNDA by the NMPA represents an important milestone in demonstrating the potential value of sintilimab in the first-line treatment of ESCC. We look forward to working with the China regulatory authorities on the sNDA review and we hope to bring the new regimen of sintilimab plus cisplatin and paclitaxel to Chinese patients with ESCC as quickly as possible.”

About the ORIENT-15 Study

ORIENT-15 is a global randomized, double-blind, multicenter Phase 3 clinical study evaluating sintilimab in combination with chemotherapy (cisplatin plus paclitaxel or cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil [5-FU]), compared to placebo in combination with chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of unresectable locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03748134). At the time of interim analysis, a total of 659 eligible patients (of the planned 676 estimated participants) were enrolled and randomly assigned into the experimental group or control group in a 1:1 ratio. The primary endpoints were overall survival (OS) in all randomized patients and OS in PD-L1 positive (defined as CPS ≥10) patients.

About Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC)

Esophageal cancer (EC) is one of the most common malignant tumors worldwide that begins in the inner layer (mucosa) of the esophagus, which connects the throat to the stomach. Based on GLOBOCAN 2020 estimates, approximately 600,000 new cases of esophageal cancer are diagnosed and approximately 540,000 deaths result from the disease worldwide each year. Esophageal cancer is the seventh most commonly diagnosed cancer and the sixth leading cause of death from cancer worldwide. More than half of new and fatal cases of esophageal cancer in the world occur in China. In China, it is estimated there were approximately 320,000 new cases of esophageal cancer diagnosed and approximately 300,000 deaths resulting from the disease in 2020. Esophageal cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer and the fourth leading cause of death from cancer in China, where it has a five-year survival rate of only 30%. In the US, it is estimated there were approximately 18,000 new cases of esophageal cancer diagnosed and approximately 16,000 deaths resulting from the disease in 2020. The five-year survival rate of esophageal cancer is only 20% in the US.

The two main types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma. In China, SCC is the predominant histologic type, accounting for more than 90% of all esophageal cancer. In western countries, SCC is approximately 25% of all esophageal cancer. In the past, first-line standard systemic therapy was chemotherapy based on platinum drugs for unresectable locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic ESCC. Pembrolizumab has been approved as first-line treatment in combination with chemotherapy.  

About Sintilimab

Sintilimab, marketed as TYVYT® (sintilimab injection) in China, is an innovative PD-1 inhibitor with global quality standards jointly developed by Innovent and Eli Lilly and Company. Sintilimab is an immunoglobulin G4 monoclonal antibody, which binds to PD-1 molecules on the surface of T-cells, blocks the PD-1 / PD-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway, and reactivates T-cells to kill cancer cells. Innovent is currently conducting more than 20 clinical studies of sintilimab to evaluate its safety and efficacy in a wide variety of cancer indications, including more than 10 registrational or pivotal clinical trials.

In China, sintilimab has been approved for four indications, including:

  • The treatment of relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma after two lines or later of systemic chemotherapy
  • In combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer
  • In combination with gemcitabine and platinum chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of squamous non-small cell lung cancer
  • In combination with BYVASDA® (bevacizumab biosimilar injection) for the first-line treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma

Additionally, Innovent currently has two regulatory submissions under review in China for sintilimab, for the first line treatment of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and the second-line treatment of squamous non-small cell lung cancer.

Innovent also has additional two clinical studies of sintilimab that have met their primary endpoints:

  • In combination with oxaliplatin and capecitabine for the first-line treatment of unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.
  • The second-line treatment of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

In May 2021, the U.S. FDA accepted for review the Biologics License Application (BLA) for sintilimab in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer.

Sintilimab was included in China’s National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) in 2019 as the first PD-1 inhibitor and the only PD-1 included in the list in that year.

About Innovent

Inspired by the spirit of “Start with Integrity, Succeed through Action,” Innovent’s mission is to develop, manufacture and commercialize high-quality biopharmaceutical products that are affordable to ordinary people. Established in 2011, Innovent is committed to developing, manufacturing and commercializing high-quality innovative medicines for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune, metabolic and other major diseases. On October 31, 2018, Innovent was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with the stock code: 01801.HK.

Since its inception, Innovent has developed a fully integrated multi-functional platform which includes R&D, CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls), clinical development and commercialization capabilities. Leveraging the platform, the company has built a robust pipeline of 26 valuable assets in the fields of cancer, metabolic, autoimmune disease and other major therapeutic areas, with 5 products – TYVYT® (sintilimab injection), BYVASDA® (bevacizumab biosimilar injection), SULINNO® (adalimumab biosimilar injection), HALPRYZA® (rituximab biosimilar injection) and Pemazyre® (pemigatinib oral inhibitor) – officially approved for marketing in China, 1 asset’s NDA under NMPA review, sintilimab’s Biologics License Application (BLA) acceptance in the U.S., 5 assets in Phase 3 or pivotal clinical trials, and an additional 15 molecules in clinical studies.

Innovent has built an international team with advanced talent in high-end biological drug development and commercialization, including many global experts. The company has also entered into strategic collaborations with Eli Lilly and Company, Adimab, Incyte, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Hanmi and other international partners. Innovent strives to work with many collaborators to help advance China’s biopharmaceutical industry, improve drug availability and enhance the quality of the patients’ lives. For more information, please visit: www.innoventbio.com. and www.linkedin.com/company/innovent-biologics/.

Note:

Sintilimab is not an approved product in the United States.

BYVASDA® (bevacizumab biosimilar injection), HALPRYZA® (rituximab biosimilar injection), and SULINNO® (adalimumab biosimilar injection) are not approved products in the United States.

TYVYT® (sintilimab injection, Innovent)

BYVASDA® (bevacizumab biosimilar injection, Innovent)

HALPRYZA® (rituximab biosimilar injection, Innovent)

SULINNO® (adalimumab biosimilar injection, Innovent)

Pemazyre® (pemigatinib oral inhibitor, Incyte Corporation). Pemazyre® was discovered by Incyte Corporation and licensed to Innovent for development and commercialization in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Disclaimer:

1. This indication hasn’t been approved in China.
2. Innovent does not recommend any off-label usage.
3. For medical and healthcare professionals only.

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