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Calquence granted first regulatory approval in China for adults with previously treated mantle cell lymphoma

March 23, 2023: “AstraZeneca’s Calquence (acalabrutinib), a next generation, selective Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, has been conditionally approved in China for the treatment of adult patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) who have received at least one prior therapy.

This is the first approved indication for Calquence in China.

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The conditional approval by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) was based on positive results from two clinical trials, including the ACE-LY-004 global Phase II trial in adults with relapsed or refractory MCL and a Phase I/ II trial in Chinese patients with relapsed or refractory MCL and other B-cell malignancies.

Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification of ongoing randomised controlled confirmatory trials.

MCL is typically an aggressive, rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that accounts for between 2-6% of all patients diagnosed with NHL in China. Patients are generally diagnosed around 60 years of age, often at later stages of the disease.

Jun Zhu, Chief Physician, Department of Lymphatic Oncology, Peking University Cancer Hospital, Beijing, said: “Mantle cell lymphoma progresses rapidly and responds poorly to conventional treatment such as immunochemotherapy. 

Before the emergence of BTK inhibitors, there were few satisfactory treatment options for patients. 

The next-generation BTK inhibitor Calquence has higher target selectivity, fewer side effects, and a higher response rate compared to currently available treatments. This approval of Calquence in China can provide a new treatment option which can better benefit patients with this disease.”

Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, AstraZeneca, said: “This approval for Calquence offers people living with mantle cell lymphoma in China an effective and tolerable new treatment option to help control their disease.

As the first approval in China for Calquence, it is also an exciting step forward for AstraZeneca in blood cancers, enabling us to help more patients across the globe gain access to innovative treatments.”

Results from the ACE-LY-004 Phase II trial showed at a median follow up of 15.2 months, investigator-assessed overall response rate (ORR) with Calquence was 80.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 72.6-87.2), with a complete response (CR) achieved in 39.5% of patients with relapsed or refractory MCL (95% CI 30.9-48.7).

Longer-term follow-up data showed at 38.1 months, patients treated with Calquence remained progression-free for a median of 22 months, with median overall survival (OS) of 59.2 months (95% CI 36.5-NE).

Additionally, results from a Phase I/II trial conducted in China showed Calquence achieved a 82.4% ORR, with a CR achieved in 35.3% of patients with MCL based on a blinded independent central-review (BICR) analysis (95% CI 65.5-93.2). 

Calquence reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 51.5% (95% CI 33.3-67.0) at 12 months, with an estimated duration of response (DOR) of 65.5% (95% CI 66.6-93.3). The median DOR was not reached.2

The safety and tolerability of Calquence in these trials was consistent with that observed in previous clinical trials.

Calquence is approved for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) in the US and Japan and is approved for the treatment of CLL in the EU and in several other countries worldwide in the treatment-naïve and relapsed or refractory settings. 

Calquence is also approved in the US and several other countries for the treatment of adult patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy. 

Calquence is not currently approved for the treatment of MCL in Japan or the EU.”


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