Sunday, August 19, 2018

FDA approves LENVIMA® for first-line treatment of unresectable liver cancer

MedPage Today:
FDA OKs First-Line Tx for Unresectable Liver Cancer First new upfront treatment option in over a decade 
by Ian Ingram, Deputy Managing Editor, MedPage Today 
August 16, 2018
WASHINGTON -- The FDA on Thursday approved the kinase inhibitor lenvatinib (Lenvima) for the first-line treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with unresectable disease.

Approval was based on the REFLECT study, a multicenter non-inferiority trial, which randomized 954 HCC patients 1:1 to either 8 mg or 12 mg oral lenvatinib (depending on the patient's weight) versus 400 mg sorafenib twice daily until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The drug is approved at the 8 mg once-daily dose for patients <60 kg and at the 12 mg once-daily dose for those ≥60 kg.
Continue reading:
 https://www.medpagetoday.com/hematologyoncology/othercancers/74612

Press Release:
Eisai And Merck Announce FDA Approval Of LENVIMA® (lenvatinib) Capsules For First-line Treatment Of Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) 

- Approval was based on REFLECT, the first-ever positive Phase 3 trial against an active comparator in previously untreated patients with unresectable HCC 

- Marks second approval under Eisai-Merck global collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize LENVIMA, following Japan in March 2018

Aug 16, 2018
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. and KENILWORTH, N.J., Aug. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Eisai Inc. and Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the kinase inhibitor LENVIMA® (lenvatinib) for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This approval was based on results from REFLECT (Study 304), where LENVIMA demonstrated a proven treatment effect on overall survival (OS) by statistical confirmation of non-inferiority, as well as statistically significant superiority and clinically meaningful improvements in progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate (ORR) when compared with sorafenib in patients with previously untreated unresectable HCC.

"Unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma is an extremely difficult-to-treat cancer, with no new first-line systemic therapy options for more than a decade," said Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa, medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. "REFLECT is the first-ever positive Phase 3 trial against an active comparator in unresectable HCC. The efficacy and safety data from REFLECT are important findings for oncologists and others in the multidisciplinary teams who treat liver cancer, as well as for our patients who are affected by it."

Adverse reactions, some of which can be serious or fatal, may occur with LENVIMA, including hypertension, cardiac dysfunction, arterial thromboembolic events, hepatotoxicity, renal failure or impairment, proteinuria, diarrhea, fistula formation and gastrointestinal perforation, QT interval prolongation, hypocalcemia, reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome, hemorrhagic events, impairment of thyroid stimulating hormone suppression/thyroid dysfunction, and wound healing complications. Based on the severity of the adverse reaction, LENVIMA should be monitored, withheld or discontinued. Based on its mechanism of action and data from animal reproduction studies, LENVIMA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Females of reproductive potential should be advised to use effective contraception. For more information, see "Important Safety Information" below.

REFLECT showed that LENVIMA achieved the primary endpoint, demonstrating a treatment effect on OS by statistical confirmation of non-inferiority to sorafenib. Patients treated with LENVIMA experienced a median OS of 13.6 months compared to 12.3 months with sorafenib (HR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.79–1.06). The OS analysis was conducted when 351 events had occurred in the LENVIMA arm and 350 events had occurred in the sorafenib arm, as prespecified in the statistical analysis plan. In addition, LENVIMA showed statistically significant superiority and clinically meaningful improvements in the secondary efficacy endpoints of PFS and ORR, as confirmed by a blinded independent imaging review (IIR):

Median PFS was doubled with LENVIMA compared to sorafenib: 7.3 months versus 3.6 months (HR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.55–0.75; p<0.001) per blinded independent imaging review based on mRECIST criteria, and 7.3 months with LENVIMA versus 3.6 months with sorafenib (HR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.56–0.77) per RECIST 1.1.
LENVIMA showed nearly 3.5 times the ORR of sorafenib: 41% (95% CI: 36-45%) vs. 12% (95% CI: 10-16%) per blinded independent imaging review based on mRECIST criteria, respectively (p<0.001), and 19% (95% CI: 15-22%) with LENVIMA versus 7% (95% CI: 4-9%) with sorafenib per RECIST 1.1.
Per mRECIST: Treatment with LENVIMA resulted in complete response (CR) = 2.1% (n=10) vs. 0.8% (n=4) with sorafenib; treatment with LENVIMA resulted in partial response (PR) = 38.5% (n=184) vs. 11.6% (n=55) with sorafenib
Per RECIST 1.1: Treatment with LENVIMA resulted in CR = 0.4% (n=2) vs. 0.2% (n=1) with sorafenib; treatment with LENVIMA resulted in PR = 18.4% (n=88) vs. 6.3% (n=30) with sorafenib

In addition, median time to progression (TTP) was doubled with LENVIMA compared to sorafenib: 7.4 months versus 3.7 months (HR: 0.60; 95% CI: 0.51–0.71; p<0.0001) per blinded independent imaging review based on mRECIST criteria, and 7.4 months with LENVIMA versus 3.7 months with sorafenib (HR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.51–0.72; p<0.0001) per RECIST 1.1. Time to progression is defined as time from randomization to radiological progression. Deaths during follow-up without evidence of radiological progression are censored. This differs from PFS and is less correlative to overall survival.

In REFLECT, the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) observed in patients treated with LENVIMA were hypertension, fatigue, diarrhea, decreased appetite, arthralgia/myalgia, decreased weight, abdominal pain, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome, proteinuria, dysphonia, hemorrhagic events, hypothyroidism and nausea. The most common serious adverse reactions (≥2%) reported in patients treated with LENVIMA were hepatic encephalopathy (5%), hepatic failure (3%), ascites (3%) and decreased appetite (2%).

The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) observed in patients who received sorafenib were palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome, diarrhea, fatigue, hypertension, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, rash, decreased weight and arthralgia/myalgia. The most common serious adverse reactions (≥2%) reported in patients who received sorafenib were ascites (2%) and abdominal pain (2%).

It is also important to note that the dose for LENVIMA for patients with unresectable HCC is based on the patient's weight (12 mg for patients weighing 60 kilograms or more, 8 mg for patients weighing less than 60 kilograms); the recommended dosage and dose adjustments are described in the full prescribing information.

"Eisai strives to be a leading global R&D-based pharmaceutical company, driven by our human health care (hhc) mission to improve the lives of patients and their loved ones," said Shaji Procida, President and Chief Operating Officer, Eisai Inc., and Commercial Head of the Oncology Business Group, Americas at Eisai. "That purpose is what has propelled us toward this win for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. Our goal is to bring monumental solutions to patients and health care providers, changing expectations for the oncology landscape, and we look forward to continuing this work in our ongoing collaboration with Merck."

"We are pleased by the FDA approval of LENVIMA as it marks an important advancement in the treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma," said Dr. Roy Baynes, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Clinical Development, Chief Medical Officer, Merck Research Laboratories. "With our shared mission to find solutions for difficult-to-treat cancers, we look forward to working with Eisai to help bring this needed option to patients and physicians."

LENVIMA, a kinase inhibitor, was first approved in the U.S. in February 2015 for patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). In May 2016, LENVIMA was approved in the U.S. in combination with everolimus, for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following one prior anti-angiogenic therapy. Under the collaboration, Eisai and Merck initiated co-commercialization activities for LENVIMA in the U.S. in June 2018. Since the initial launch, more than 10,000 patients were treated with LENVIMA, which is approved in more than 50 countries worldwide.

About the REFLECT Trial (Study 304)
REFLECT was a large (N=954) phase 3, randomized, multicenter, open-label trial conducted by Eisai to compare the efficacy and safety of lenvatinib versus sorafenib as a first-line systemic treatment in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Patients at 154 trial sites in 20 countries were randomized to receive lenvatinib 12 mg or 8 mg once a day depending on body weight (≥60 kg or <60 kg, respectively) (n=478) or sorafenib 400 mg twice a day (n=476). Treatment was continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint of this study was overall survival, tested first for non-inferiority to sorafenib, then for superiority. Patients randomized to the LENVIMA arm did not have a statistically significant improvement in OS compared to those in the sorafenib arm. The key secondary efficacy endpoints of this study included progression-free survival, time to progression and objective response rate, tested for superiority to sorafenib. The results of the REFLECT trial were published online in The Lancet (Vol 391(10126):1163-1173) on February 9, 2018.

About Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)
The prevalence and mortality rate of hepatocellular carcinoma have been rising steadily over the past decade. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of liver cancer, accounting for about 90% of cases of primary liver cancer. The stage of disease at diagnosis largely determines treatment approach, with potentially curative options, like resection or transplantation, only available for early stage HCC. Unresectable HCC, a type of liver cancer that cannot be removed by surgery, has a worse prognosis, with a median survival of less than one year. Unfortunately, approximately 70% of patients are diagnosed too late to be eligible for resection or transplantation, and there have been limited treatment options available for patients with unresectable disease.

About LENVIMA® (lenvatinib) capsules 10 mg and 4 mg
LENVIMA® (lenvatinib) is a kinase inhibitor that is indicated:

For the treatment of patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC)
In combination with everolimus, for the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following one prior anti-angiogenic therapy
For the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)

LENVIMA, discovered and developed by Eisai, is a kinase inhibitor that inhibits the kinase activities of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors VEGFR1 (FLT1), VEGFR2 (KDR), and VEGFR3 (FLT4). LENVIMA inhibits other kinases that have been implicated in pathogenic angiogenesis, tumor growth, and cancer progression in addition to their normal cellular functions, including fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors FGFR1-4; the platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα), KIT, and RET. Lenvatinib also exhibited antiproliferative activity in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines dependent on activated FGFR signaling with a concurrent inhibition of FGF-receptor substrate 2α (FRS2α) phosphorylation.

Important Safety Information
Warnings and Precautions
Hypertension. In DTC, hypertension occurred in 73% of patients on LENVIMA (44% grade 3-4). In RCC, hypertension occurred in 42% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus (13% grade 3). Systolic blood pressure ≥160 mmHg occurred in 29% of patients, and 21% had diastolic blood pressure ≥100 mmHg. In HCC, hypertension occurred in 45% of LENVIMA-treated patients (24% grade 3). Grade 4 hypertension was not reported in HCC.

Serious complications of poorly controlled hypertension have been reported. Control blood pressure prior to initiation. Monitor blood pressure after 1 week, then every 2 weeks for the first 2 months, and then at least monthly thereafter during treatment. Withhold and resume at reduced dose when hypertension is controlled or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Cardiac Dysfunction. Serious and fatal cardiac dysfunction can occur with LENVIMA. Across clinical trials in 799 patients with DTC, RCC, and HCC, grade 3 or higher cardiac dysfunction occurred in 3% of LENVIMA-treated patients. Monitor for clinical symptoms or signs of cardiac dysfunction. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Arterial Thromboembolic Events. Among patients receiving LENVIMA or LENVIMA + everolimus, arterial thromboembolic events of any severity occurred in 2% of patients in RCC and HCC and 5% in DTC. Grade 3-5 arterial thromboembolic events ranged from 2% to 3% across all clinical trials.

Permanently discontinue following an arterial thrombotic event. The safety of resuming after an arterial thromboembolic event has not been established and LENVIMA has not been studied in patients who have had an arterial thromboembolic event within the previous 6 months.

Hepatotoxicity. Across clinical studies enrolling 1,327 LENVIMA-treated patients with malignancies other than HCC, serious hepatic adverse reactions occurred in 1.4% of patients. Fatal events, including hepatic failure, acute hepatitis and hepatorenal syndrome, occurred in 0.5% of patients. In HCC, hepatic encephalopathy occurred in 8% of LENVIMA-treated patients (5% grade 3-5). Grade 3-5 hepatic failure occurred in 3% of LENVIMA-treated patients. 2% of patients discontinued LENVIMA due to hepatic encephalopathy and 1% discontinued due to hepatic failure.

Monitor liver function prior to initiation, then every 2 weeks for the first 2 months, and at least monthly thereafter during treatment. Monitor patients with HCC closely for signs of hepatic failure, including hepatic encephalopathy. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Renal Failure or Impairment. Serious including fatal renal failure or impairment can occur with LENVIMA. Renal impairment was reported in 14% and 7% of LENVIMA-treated patients in DTC and HCC, respectively. Grade 3-5 renal failure or impairment occurred in 3% of patients with DTC and 2% of patients with HCC, including 1 fatal event in each study. In RCC, renal impairment or renal failure was reported in 18% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients (10% grade 3).

Initiate prompt management of diarrhea or dehydration/hypovolemia. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue for renal failure or impairment based on severity.

Proteinuria. In DTC and HCC, proteinuria was reported in 34% and 26% of LENVIMA-treated patients, respectively. Grade 3 proteinuria occurred in 11% and 6% in DTC and HCC, respectively. In RCC, proteinuria occurred in 31% of patients receiving LENVIMA + everolimus (8% grade 3).

Monitor for proteinuria prior to initiation and periodically during treatment. If urine dipstick proteinuria ≥2+ is detected, obtain a 24-hour urine protein. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Diarrhea. Of the 737 LENVIMA-treated patients in DTC and HCC, diarrhea occurred in 49% (6% grade 3). In RCC, diarrhea occurred in 81% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients (19% grade 3). Diarrhea was the most frequent cause of dose interruption/reduction, and diarrhea recurred despite dose reduction.

Promptly initiate management of diarrhea. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Fistula Formation and Gastrointestinal Perforation. Of the 799 patients treated with LENVIMA or LENVIMA + everolimus in DTC, RCC, and HCC, fistula or gastrointestinal perforation occurred in 2%. Fistulas and gastrointestinal perforations have also been reported in other lenvatinib clinical trials and in post-marketing experience. Pneumothorax has been reported with and without clear evidence of a bronchopleural fistula. Some reports of gastrointestinal perforation, fistula, and pneumothorax occurred in association with tumor regression or necrosis. In most cases of fistula formation or gastrointestinal perforation, risk factors such as prior surgery or radiotherapy were present.

Permanently discontinue in patients who develop gastrointestinal perforation of any severity or grade 3-4 fistula.

QT Interval Prolongation. In DTC, QT/QTc interval prolongation occurred in 9% of LENVIMA-treated patients and QT interval prolongation of >500 ms occurred in 2%. In RCC, QTc interval increases of >60 ms occurred in 11% of patients receiving LENVIMA + everolimus and QTc interval >500 ms occurred in 6%. In HCC, QTc interval increases of >60 ms occurred in 8% of LENVIMA-treated patients and QTc interval >500 ms occurred in 2%.

Monitor and correct electrolyte abnormalities at baseline and periodically during treatment. Monitor electrocardiograms in patients with congenital long QT syndrome, congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, or those who are taking drugs known to prolong the QT interval, including Class Ia and III antiarrhythmics. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery based on severity.

Hypocalcemia. In DTC, grade 3-4 hypocalcemia occurred in 9% of LENVIMA-treated patients. In 65% of cases, hypocalcemia improved or resolved following calcium supplementation with or without dose interruption or dose reduction. In RCC, grade 3-4 hypocalcemia occurred in 6% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients. In HCC, grade 3 hypocalcemia occurred in 0.8% of LENVIMA-treated patients.

Monitor blood calcium levels at least monthly and replace calcium as necessary during treatment. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue depending on severity.

Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome. Across clinical studies of 1,823 patients who received LENVIMA as a single agent, RPLS occurred in 0.3%. Confirm diagnosis of RPLS with MRI. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue depending on severity and persistence of neurologic symptoms.

Hemorrhagic Events. Serious including fatal hemorrhagic events can occur with LENVIMA. In DTC, RCC, and HCC clinical trials, hemorrhagic events, of any grade, occurred in 29% of the 799 patients treated with LENVIMA as a single agent or in combination with everolimus. The most frequently reported hemorrhagic events (all grades and occurring in at least 5% of patients) were epistaxis and hematuria. In DTC, grade 3-5 hemorrhage occurred in 2% of LENVIMA-treated patients, including 1 fatal intracranial hemorrhage among 16 patients who received LENVIMA and had CNS metastases at baseline. In RCC, grade 3-5 hemorrhage occurred in 8% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients, including 1 fatal cerebral hemorrhage. In HCC, grade 3-5 hemorrhage occurred in 5% of LENVIMA-treated patients, including 7 fatal hemorrhagic events.

Serious tumor-related bleeds, including fatal hemorrhagic events, occurred in LENVIMA-treated patients in clinical trials and in the postmarketing setting. In postmarketing surveillance, serious and fatal carotid artery hemorrhages were seen more frequently in patients with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) than other tumors. Safety and effectiveness of LENVIMA in patients with ATC have not been demonstrated in clinical trials.

Consider the risk of severe or fatal hemorrhage associated with tumor invasion or infiltration of major blood vessels (eg, carotid artery). Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Impairment of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Suppression/Thyroid Dysfunction. LENVIMA impairs exogenous thyroid suppression. In DTC, 88% of patients had baseline thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level ≤0.5 mU/L. In patients with normal TSH at baseline, elevation of TSH level >0.5 mU/L was observed post baseline in 57% of LENVIMA-treated patients. In RCC and HCC, grade 1 or 2 hypothyroidism occurred in 24% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients and 21% of LENVIMA-treated patients, respectively. In patients with normal or low TSH at baseline, elevation of TSH was observed post baseline in 70% of LENVIMA-treated patients in HCC and 60% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients in RCC.

Monitor thyroid function prior to initiation and at least monthly during treatment. Treat hypothyroidism according to standard medical practice.

Wound Healing Complications. Wound healing complications, including fistula formation and wound dehiscence, can occur with LENVIMA. Withhold for at least 6 days prior to scheduled surgery. Resume after surgery based on clinical judgment of adequate wound healing. Permanently discontinue in patients with wound healing complications.

Embryo-fetal Toxicity. Based on its mechanism of action and data from animal reproduction studies, LENVIMA can cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. In animal reproduction studies, oral administration of lenvatinib during organogenesis at doses below the recommended clinical doses resulted in embryotoxicity, fetotoxicity, and teratogenicity in rats and rabbits. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus; and advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with LENVIMA and for at least 30 days after the last dose.

Adverse Reactions
In DTC, the most common adverse reactions (≥30%) observed in LENVIMA-treated patients were hypertension (73%), fatigue (67%), diarrhea (67%), arthralgia/myalgia (62%), decreased appetite (54%), decreased weight (51%), nausea (47%), stomatitis (41%), headache (38%), vomiting (36%), proteinuria (34%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (32%), abdominal pain (31%), and dysphonia (31%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were pneumonia (4%), hypertension (3%), and dehydration (3%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions in 68% of LENVIMA-treated patients; 18% discontinued LENVIMA. The most common adverse reactions (≥10%) resulting in dose reductions were hypertension (13%), proteinuria (11%), decreased appetite (10%), and diarrhea (10%); the most common adverse reactions (≥1%) resulting in discontinuation of LENVIMA were hypertension (1%) and asthenia (1%).

In RCC, the most common adverse reactions (≥30%) observed in LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients were diarrhea (81%), fatigue (73%), arthralgia/myalgia (55%), decreased appetite (53%), vomiting (48%), nausea (45%), stomatitis (44%), hypertension (42%), peripheral edema (42%), cough (37%), abdominal pain (37%), dyspnea (35%), rash (35%), decreased weight (34%), hemorrhagic events (32%), and proteinuria (31%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥5%) were renal failure (11%), dehydration (10%), anemia (6%), thrombocytopenia (5%), diarrhea (5%), vomiting (5%), and dyspnea (5%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions or interruption in 89% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) resulting in dose reductions were diarrhea (21%), fatigue (8%), thrombocytopenia (6%), vomiting (6%), nausea (5%), and proteinuria (5%). Treatment discontinuation due to an adverse reaction occurred in 29% of patients.

In HCC, the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) observed in LENVIMA-treated patients were hypertension (45%), fatigue (44%), diarrhea (39%), decreased appetite (34%), arthralgia/myalgia (31%), decreased weight (31%), abdominal pain (30%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (27%), proteinuria (26%), dysphonia (24%), hemorrhagic events (23%), hypothyroidism (21%), and nausea (20%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were hepatic encephalopathy (5%), hepatic failure (3%), ascites (3%), and decreased appetite (2%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions or interruption in 62% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) resulting in dose reductions were fatigue (9%), decreased appetite (8%), diarrhea (8%), proteinuria (7%), hypertension (6%), and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (5%). Treatment discontinuation due to an adverse reaction occurred in 20% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥1%) resulting in discontinuation of LENVIMA were fatigue (1%), hepatic encephalopathy (2%), hyperbilirubinemia (1%), and hepatic failure (1%).

Use in Specific Populations
Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants, advise women to discontinue breastfeeding during treatment and for at least 1 week after last dose. LENVIMA may impair fertility in males and females of reproductive potential.

No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with mild (CLcr 60-89 mL/min) or moderate (CLcr 30-59 mL/min) renal impairment. LENVIMA concentrations may increase in patients with DTC or RCC and severe (CLcr 15-29 mL/min) renal impairment. Reduce the dose for patients with RCC or DTC and severe renal impairment. There is no recommended dose for patients with HCC and severe renal impairment. LENVIMA has not been studied in patients with end stage renal disease.

No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with HCC and mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh A). There is no recommended dose for patients with HCC with moderate (Child-Pugh B) or severe (Child-Pugh C) hepatic impairment.

No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with DTC or RCC and mild or moderate hepatic impairment. LENVIMA concentrations may increase in patients with DTC or RCC and severe hepatic impairment. Reduce the dose for patients with DTC or RCC and severe hepatic impairment.

For more information about LENVIMA please see available full Prescribing Information.
http://eisai.mediaroom.com/2018-08-16-Eisai-And-Merck-Announce-FDA-Approval-Of-LENVIMA-R-lenvatinib-Capsules-For-First-line-Treatment-Of-Unresectable-Hepatocellular-Carcinoma-HCC

Friday, August 17, 2018

HCV elimination among people who inject drugs. Modelling pre- and post–WHO elimination era

Research Article
HCV elimination among people who inject drugs. Modelling pre- and post–WHO elimination era 
Ilias Gountas , Vana Sypsa, Sarah Blach, Homie Razavi, Angelos Hatzakis
Published: August 16, 2018
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202109

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Abstract
Background
Elimination of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among people who inject drugs (PWID) is a costly investment, so strategies should not only focus on eliminating the disease, but also on preventing disease resurgence. The aims of this study are to compute the minimum necessary antiviral therapies to achieve elimination with and without the additional expansion of harm reduction (HR) programs and to examine the sustainability of HCV elimination after 2030 if treatment is discontinued.

Method
We considered two types of epidemic (with low (30%) and high (50%) proportion of PWID who engage in sharing equipment (sharers)) within three baseline chronic HCV (CHC) prevalence settings (30%, 45% and 60%), assuming a baseline HR coverage of 40%. We define sustainable elimination strategies, those that could maintain eliminations results for a decade (2031–2040), in the absence of additional treatment.

Results
The model shows that the optimum elimination strategy is dependent on risk sharing behavior of the examined population. The necessary annual treatment coverage to achieve HCV elimination under 45% baseline CHC prevalence, without the simultaneous expansion of HR programs, ranges between 4.7–5.1%. Similarly, under 60% baseline CHC prevalence the needed treatment coverage varies from 9.0–10.5%. Increasing HR coverage from 40% to 75%, reduces the required treatment coverage by 6.5–9.8% and 11.0–15.0% under 45% or 60% CHC prevalence, respectively. In settings with ≤45% baseline CHC prevalence, expanding HR to 75% could prevent the disease from rebounding after elimination, irrespective of the type of the epidemic. In high chronic HCV prevalence, counseling interventions to reduce sharing are also needed to maintain the HCV incident cases in low levels.

Conclusions
Harm reduction strategies have a vital role in HCV elimination strategy, as they reduce the required number of treatments to eliminate HCV and they provide sustainability after the elimination. The above underlines that HCV elimination strategies should be built upon the existing HR services, and argue for HR expansion in countries without services.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hepatitis C virus infection in children: How do we prevent it and how do we treat it?

Hepatitis C virus infection in children: How do we prevent it and how do we treat it?
Nwaohiri A, et al. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2018.

The following article was downloaded and shared by Henry E. Chang via twitter

Full Article
Download complete article: https://jumpshare.com/v/O0Ehk1hkeqkKJIzXFkfP 

Abstract
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection is an important contributor to the worldwide burden of liver-related morbidity and mortality. Mother-to-child transmission of HCV ranges from 6-11% in different populations globally, but accurate estimates on the burden of pediatric HCV infection are limited because screening approaches are not consistent. Areas covered: The advent of new direct-acting antiviral agents that achieve very high rates of sustained virologic response, (representing virologic cure) with short (i.e., 8 to 12 weeks) regimens has revolutionized the field of HCV treatment and led to the development of global elimination goals for HCV transmission and mortality. However, information on their safety during pregnancy and efficacy in preventing mother-to-child transmission is lacking. Currently, there are no approved treatment regimens with these antiviral agents for children younger than 12 years of age. Expert Commentary: If these agents are shown to be safe during pregnancy and effective in preventing transmission to the infant, screening of pregnant women and antenatal treatment of those infected, could pave the way for eliminating pediatric HCV infection- particularly as these drugs become less costly and more accessible. Treatment of infected children when indicated, along with universal safe health care practices, can further pediatric HCV elimination.

Continue to article.....

Monday, August 13, 2018

Listen: Fewer Australians are dying from hepatitis C, but thousands are still missing out on treatment

Article
Fewer Australians are dying from hepatitis C, but thousands are still missing out on treatment
By health reporter Olivia Willis
Monday 13 August 2018
The number of Australians dying from liver failure and liver cancer related to hepatitis C has dropped by 20 per cent in just two years, according to preliminary data released today by The Kirby Institute.
Read the article: http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-08-13/fewer-australians-dying-from-hepatitis-c/10107326

ABC Radio Australia 
Deaths from Hep C liver failure and liver cancer improving
Listen to Monday's Health Report hosted by Dr. Norman Swan with guest Greg Dore discuss the latest hepatitis C-related liver failure and liver cancer figures in New South Whales.

Deaths from Hep C liver failure and liver cancer improving
New research is showing a return on the Federal Government's investment in free hepatitis C treatment aimed at curing blood-transmitted liver infection.

The latest figures from New South Wales show the number of people dying from hepatitis C-related liver failure and liver cancer has dropped 20 per cent in two years.

Listen here...…

Guest: Professor Greg Dore
Professor and Program Head, Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales.

Monday 13 August 2018 5:45PM (full episode)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Gut-Microbiome Biomarkers Identify Early Hepatocellular Carcinoma

We have demonstrated characteristic changes in the gut microbiota in early HCC across a large clinical cohort, illustrated crucial bacterial candidates that may contribute to HCC development, identified specific microbial markers and validated their diagnostic efficacy in the three cohorts from three different regions of China. Thus, we propose that gut microbiota-targeted biomarkers may become potential non-invasive tools for early diagnosis of HCC. Systematic investigation of the key bacterial genus or species by metagenomic sequencing may further improve the diagnostic value for HCC. The combination of microbial markers and currently used diagnostic approaches may further benefit HCC populations. The validation of gut microbial markers in much larger cohorts from different ethnic populations or different countries may further promote the efficacy and stability of HCC diagnosis. The ultimate goal would be to identify faecal microbial markers with strong diagnostic power to detect early HCC, which may further achieve early diagnosis and early therapy for HCC.

In the media - Reuters Health Information
Gut-Microbiome Biomarkers Identify Early Hepatocellular Carcinoma
08/10/2018
By Will Boggs MD 
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A panel of gut-microbiome biomarkers can be useful for identifying patients with early hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), researchers from China report... 

Dr. Ren and colleagues characterized the gut microbiome and evaluated its potential as a noninvasive biomarker for HCC in their study of 75 patients with early HCC, 40 patients with cirrhosis and 75 healthy controls. They validated the results in 30 patients with early HCC, 45 patients with advanced HCC and 56 controls and further validated the biomarker panel's diagnostic potential in 98 patients with HCC....
Read the article: http://www.oncnet.com/news/gut-microbiome-biomarkers-identify-early-hepatocellular-carcinoma

Thursday, August 9, 2018

FDA: Hepatitis C Drug Labeling Updated to Include New Clinical Data

Pharmacy Times
The FDA has approved updates to the labeling for hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug glecaprevir and pibrentasvir (Mavyret) to include new data from 2 clinical studies, according to a press release.

Labeling revisions include updates to the dosing recommendations, as well as safety and efficacy outcomes data from the HCV/HIV-1 coinfection study (M14-730) and from the liver and renal transplant study (M13-596).

The Dosage and Administration section was updated to include dosing recommendations for 12 weeks in liver or kidney transplant recipients and a 16-week treatment duration in genotype 1-infected patients who are NS5A inhibitor-experienced without prior treatment with an NS3/4A protease inhibitor or in genotype (GT) 3-infected patients who are pegylated interferon, ribavirin, and sofosbuvir (PRS) treatment-experienced.

Additionally, the Adverse Reactions and Clinical Studies sections were updated to include safety and efficacy data from the trials for HCV/HIV-1 coinfected individuals and patients with liver or kidney transplant.
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Healio
The FDA recently approved safety and efficacy revisions to the Mavyret label based on data from a hepatitis C/HIV-1 collection study and a liver and renal transplant study.

Ongoing studies from the past year have shown Mavyret (glecaprevir/pibrentasvir, AbbVie) to be a pangenotypic treatment that is highly effective over an 8-week course for most patients.
According to the released revisions, the FDA recommends a 12-week course of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir for liver or kidney transplant recipients. 

The FDA also recommends a 16-week course for patients with genotype 1 and NS5A inhibitor-experienced without prior treatment with an NS3/4A protease inhibitor, and for patients with genotype 3 who are treatment-experienced with Sovaldi (sofosbuvir, Gilead Sciences) and ribavirin.
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FDA Hepatitis Updates
FDA recently approved revisions to the MAVYRET™ (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir)
The FDA recently approved revisions to the MAVYRET™ (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) tablets label to include safety and efficacy data from the HCV/HIV-1 coinfection study (M14-730) and from the liver and renal transplant study (M13-596). A summary of the major revisions includes the following:

Section 2: DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION was updated to include the following dosing recommendations.

2.3 Liver or Kidney Transplant Recipients

MAVYRET is recommended for 12 weeks in liver or kidney transplant recipients. A 16-week treatment duration is recommended in genotype 1-infected patients who are NS5A inhibitor- experienced without prior treatment with an NS3/4A protease inhibitor or in genotype 3-infected patients who are PRS treatment-experienced.

Section 6: ADVERSE REACTIONS was updated to include the following safety data.

Adverse Reactions in HCV/HIV-1 Co-infected Subjects

The safety of MAVYRET in subjects with HIV-1 co-infection with genotypes 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 chronic HCV infection without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) was assessed in 153 subjects (EXPEDITION-2) who received MAVYRET for 8 or 12 weeks. Thirty- three subjects with HIV-1 coinfection also received 8 or 12 weeks of therapy in ENDURANCE- 1.

The overall safety profile in HCV/HIV-1 co-infected subjects (ENDURANCE-1 and EXPEDITION-2) was similar to that observed in HCV mono-infected subjects. Adverse reactions observed in greater than or equal to 5% of subjects receiving MAVYRET in EXPEDITION-2 for 8 or 12 weeks were fatigue (10%), nausea (8%), and headache (5%).

Adverse Reactions in Subjects with Liver or Kidney Transplant

The safety of MAVYRET was assessed in 100 post-liver or -kidney transplant recipients with genotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 chronic HCV infection without cirrhosis (MAGELLAN-2). The overall safety profile in transplant recipients was similar to that observed in subjects in the Phase 2 and 3 studies, without a history of transplantation. Adverse reactions observed in greater than or equal to 5% of subjects receiving MAVYRET for 12 weeks were headache (17%), fatigue (16%), nausea (8%) and pruritus (7%). In subjects treated with MAVYRET who reported an adverse reaction, 81% had adverse reactions of mild severity. Two percent of subjects experienced a serious adverse reaction, and no subjects permanently discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions.

Section 14: CLINICAL STUDIES was updated to include the following efficacy outcomes data.

14.7 Treatment-Naïve or PRS Treatment-Experienced Adults with HCV/HIV-1 Coinfection without Cirrhosis or with Compensated Cirrhosis

EXPEDITION-2 was an open-label study in 153 HCV/HIV-1-coinfected subjects. Subjects without cirrhosis received MAVYRET for 8 weeks and subjects with compensated cirrhosis received MAVYRET for 12 weeks. The study included subjects who were HCV treatment-naïve or treatment-experienced to combinations of (peg)interferon, ribavirin, and/or sofosbuvir, with the exception of GT3-infected subjects who were all treatment naïve.

Of the 153 subjects treated, the median age was 45 years (range: 23 to 74); 63% had HCV genotype 1, 7% had HCV genotype 2, 17% had HCV genotype 3, 11% had HCV genotype 4, 2% had HCV genotype 6; 11% had cirrhosis; 84% were male; and 16% were Black.
In EXPEDITION-2, the SVR12 rate in HCV/HIV-1 co-infected subjects was 98% (150/153). One subject experienced on-treatment virologic failure and no subjects relapsed.

14.8 Treatment-Naïve or PRS Treatment-Experienced Adults with Liver or Kidney Transplant without Cirrhosis

MAGELLAN-2 was a single-arm, open-label study in 100 post-liver or -kidney transplant HCV GT 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 infected subjects without cirrhosis who received MAVYRET for 12 weeks. The study included subjects who were HCV treatment-naïve or treatment-experienced to combinations of (peg)interferon, ribavirin, and/or sofosbuvir, with the exception of GT3-infected subjects who were all treatment-naïve.

Of the 100 subjects treated, the median age was 60 years (range: 39 to 78); 57% had HCV genotype 1, 13% had HCV genotype 2, 24% had HCV genotype 3, 4% had HCV genotype 4, 2% had HCV genotype 6; 75% were male; 8% were Black; 80% of subjects were post-liver transplant and 20% were post-kidney transplant. Immunosuppressants allowed for co- administration were cyclosporine ≤100 mg, tacrolimus, sirolimus, everolimus, azathioprine, mycophenolic acid, prednisone, and prednisolone.

The overall SVR12 rate in post-transplant subjects was 98% (98/100). There was one relapse and no on-treatment virologic failures.
The updated label will soon be available at drugs@fda or DailyMed
Mavyret - FDA Approval Date(s) and History, Letters, Labels, Reviews

Kimberly Struble
Division of Antiviral Products
Food and Drug Administration

Elizabeth Thompson
Division of Antiviral Products
Food and Drug Administration

Michael Stanfield Jr.
Division of Antiviral Products
Food and Drug Administration

Even light drinking may make fatty liver disease worse

Even light drinking may make fatty liver disease worse 
Study In Hepatology
July 17, 2018
Non‐heavy drinking and worsening of non‐invasive fibrosis markers in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A cohort study

Reuters Health
Lisa Rapaport
For the current study, researchers examined data on 58,927 Korean young and middle aged adults with NAFDL who had low levels of fibrosis, or scarring on the liver. After following half of these patients for at least 8.3 years, 5,630 people had progressed from low to more advanced levels of fibrosis.

Moderate drinkers were 29 percent more likely to have worse fibrosis by the end of the study than people who didn’t drink at all. Men were considered moderate drinkers when they had up to about two drinks a day, while women could have up to about 1.5 drinks daily.

But “light drinkers” who averaged less than 10 grams of alcohol (less than one drink) daily, were also 6 percent more likely to have their fibrosis become more advanced than people who avoided alcohol altogether, the study team reports in Hepatology.
Continue reading: https://in.reuters.com/article/us-health-liver-drinking/even-light-drinking-may-make-fatty-liver-disease-worse-idINKBN1KT2V7