Wayne, NJ and Emeryville, CA. — Oct. 23, 2009
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ONXX) today announced the companies have begun enrolling patients in an international Phase 3 trial to evaluate Nexavar® (sorafenib) tablets for the treatment of patients with radioactive iodine-refractory, locally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer. This Phase 3 trial was started based on the results from Phase 2 clinical trials evaluating Nexavar in patients with advanced thyroid cancer.
“Patients with thyroid cancer who failed to respond to surgical or radiotherapies, have limited treatment options to help them manage their disease,” said Dimitris Voliotis, vice president, Nexavar clinical development, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. “Recognizing this unmet need, we are evaluating Nexavar in this special patient population.”
Phase 3 Trial Design
The DECISION (stuDy of sorafEnib in loCally advanced or metastatIc patientS with radioactive Iodine refractory thyrOid caNcer) trial is an international, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study that will enroll approximately 400 patients with locally advanced or metastatic, radioactive iodine-refractory, differentiated thyroid cancer (papillary, follicular and Hurthle cell) who have received no prior systemic therapy.
Patients will be randomized to receive 400 mg of oral Nexavar twice daily or matching placebo. Patients will continue on treatment until disease progression, toxicity, non-compliance or withdrawal of consent. At the time of progression, patients receiving placebo will have an option to cross over to Nexavar at the discretion of the investigator, based on the patient’s clinical status. The primary endpoint of the study is progression-free survival as defined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST). Secondary endpoints include overall survival, time to progression and response rate. The safety and tolerability of the two treatment groups will also be compared.
The study will be conducted at sites in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Japan. For information about enrolling in the study, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
“Based on the positive signal generated in the Phase 2 trial, the initiation of this Phase 3 represents progress in exploring the full potential of Nexavar in a variety of treatment settings and tumor types,” said Todd Yancey, M.D., vice president of clinical development at Onyx. “Building on our successful foundation of treating unresectable liver cancer and advanced kidney cancer, we are hopeful that this Phase 3 trial will lead to a new treatment option for patients with non-responsive thyroid cancer.”
Nexavar’s Differentiated Mechanism
Nexavar targets both the tumor cell and tumor vasculature. In preclinical studies, Nexavar has been shown to target members of two classes of kinases known to be involved in both cell proliferation (growth) and angiogenesis (blood supply) – two important processes that enable cancer growth. These kinases included Raf kinase, VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3, PDGFR-B, KIT, FLT-3 and RET.
Nexavar is currently approved in more than 80 countries for the treatment of patients with liver cancer and in more than 90 countries for the treatment of patients with advanced kidney cancer. Nexavar is also being evaluated by the companies, international study groups, government agencies and individual investigators as a single agent or combination treatment in a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and as an adjuvant therapy for liver cancer.
For information about Nexavar including U.S. Nexavar prescribing information, visit www.nexavar.com or call 1.866.NEXAVAR (1.866.639.2827).
About Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals unit of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a division of Bayer AG. One of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry, Bayer HealthCare combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. In the U.S., Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals comprises the following business units: Women’s Healthcare, Diagnostic Imaging, Specialized Therapeutics, Hematology/Cardiology and Oncology. The company’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.
About Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to improving the lives of people with cancer. The company, in collaboration with Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is developing and marketing Nexavar® (sorafenib) tablets, a small molecule drug. For more information about Onyx, visit the company’s website at www.onyx-pharm.com.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer Web site at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
Nexavar® (sorafenib) tablets is a registered trademark of Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.