Thursday, May 31, 2012

China at ASCO 2012 - Icotinib poses competition for AstraZeneca’s Gefitinib (Iressa) and Roche’s Tarceva in NSCLC– Abstract to be presented at ASCO

Privately held drug company in China , Zhejiang Beida’s anti cancer drug, icotinib, is an EGFR-TKI  and is in the same class of popular western anticancer drugs Irresa and Tarceva.  In a phase III trial for NSCLC (non small cell lung cancer) using Iressa as positive control, icotinib showed comparable efficacy and safety profile than Iressa. The  launch of this new drug could pose competitive pressure to the AstraZeneca’s Iressa and Roche’s Tarceva, as well as to sales of Simcere’s Endu in NSCLC.

Background: A total of 399 pretreated patients with advanced NSCLC were randomly assigned to receive gefitinib or icotinib in the phase III ICOGEN trial, the first head-to-head phase III trial of EGFR-TKIs. The results of the primary endpoint, PFS, have been reported previously. This report represents the final OS and biomarker analysis results. Methods: EGFR mutation was evaluated by using Scorpion ARMS (QIAGEN, n=152). Overall survival was analyzed by Cox proportional-hazards model analysis at 82% maturity. Results: Median OS was 13.3 months for icotinib and 13.9 months for gefitinib (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.79 to 1.02; P = .109). The EGFR mutation rate was 43% in the icotinib group and 59% in the gefitinib group. Compared to wild type patients, patients with EGFR mutation had longer PFS (median, 6.2m vs. 2.3m; P=.00001) as well as OS (median, 20.5m vs. 7.7m; P=.00001).

There were no significant differences in PFS or OS between the two treatment groups in EGFR mutation-positive subgroup (median PFS, 7.8m vs. 5.3m for icotinib and gefitinib, respectively, P =.3162; median OS, 20.9m vs. 20.2m for icotinib and gefitinib, respectively, P =.7611.) or in EGFR mutation-negative subgroup (median PFS, 2.3m vs. 2.2m for icotinib and gefitinib, respectively, P =.1531; median OS, 7.8m vs. 6.9m for icotinib and gefitinib, respectively, P =.7885.).

Conclusions: There is no statistically significant difference between icotinib and gefitinib in PFS or OS when given to NSCLC patients. This suggests that icotinib can provide similar OS benefits to gefitinib in advanced NSCLC patients. Moreover, EGFR mutation status is the strongest predictor in identifying which patients are most likely to benefit from icotinib