January 14, 2023
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Study shows Amgen’s Blincyto a better alternative than chemotherapy


Amgen’s new leukemia drug Blincyto increases the length of survival among high-risk patients, according to a study released by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Results from its Phase 3 Tower study revealed that Blincyto almost doubled median overall survival versus chemotherapy among adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer.

Results showed that the median overall survival was 7.7 months for patients using Blincyto vs. four months for those who used chemotherapy. Amgen made the announcement on March 1.

“Historically, patients with relapsed or refractory ALL have a poor prognosis, with an overall survival of just four months on standard of care chemotherapy,” said Dr. Max Topp, professor and head of Hematology at the University Hospital of Wuerzburg, Germany. “Findings from this head-to-head study showed that Blincyto almost doubled the median overall survival from four to 7.7 months, offering these high-risk patients a much needed alternative to chemotherapy that is both innovative and effective.”

The study also showed that remission rates were higher for Blincyto versus chemotherapy. In the Blyncyto group, 34 percent of patients achieved complete remission versus 16 percent in the chemotherapy group.

“Adults with Ph- relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL are in critical need of new treatment options,” said Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, professor and chair of the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “Results from the Tower study reinforce the potential of this single agent bispecific T cell engager immunotherapy, which helped a higher percentage of patients achieve minimal residual disease response versus standard of care chemotherapy, highlighting the depth and quality of remissions achieved.”

Amgen in February applied for FDA approval of Blincyto.