- Phase III study ARASTEP initiated in hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, in patients with high-risk biochemical recurrence (BCR) who have no evidence of metastatic disease by conventional imaging and a positive PSMA PET/CT at baseline
- Fifth major clinical trial for NUBEQA, covering prostate cancer from early to metastatic stage
Bayer further expands the global clinical development program for NUBEQA® (darolutamide) in prostate cancer. The new Phase III clinical study, ARASTEP, will investigate the efficacy of NUBEQA plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) versus ADT alone in hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, in patients with high-risk biochemical recurrence (BCR) who have no evidence of metastatic disease by conventional imaging and a positive PSMA PET/CT at baseline. BCR is defined as rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels with a doubling time of <12 months and no evidence of metastatic disease by conventional imaging.1,2 NUBEQA is currently indicated in the U.S. for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) in combination with docetaxel and for the treatment of adult patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC).3
“Many patients with rising PSA levels following surgery or radiation are at an increased risk of developing metastasis. With ARASTEP, we are optimistic about the potential to help patients at this earlier stage of the disease,” said Tara Frenkl, M.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology Development at Bayer. “NUBEQA has already demonstrated efficacy and safety in nmCRPC with the Phase III ARAMIS trial, and in mHSPC with the Phase III ARASENS trial. Our goal is to ensure that as many patients as possible benefit from this therapy, therefore we continue to assess the potential of NUBEQA in earlier disease stages.”
About the ARASTEP Trial
The ARASTEP trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III study of NUBEQA (darolutamide) plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) versus placebo plus ADT in hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, in patients with high-risk biochemical recurrence (BCR) who have no evidence of metastatic disease by conventional imaging and a positive PSMA PET/CT at baseline. The primary endpoint of this study is radiological progression-free survival (rPFS), measured by PSMA PET/CT assessed by independent central review. The trial is expected to enroll approximately 750 participants. Patients will be randomized to receive the standard regimen of 600mg of NUBEQA twice a day or matching placebo, plus ADT.
About NUBEQA® (darolutamide)3
NUBEQA is an androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) with a distinct chemical structure that competitively inhibits androgen binding, AR nuclear translocation, and AR-mediated transcription.3
On July 30, 2019, the FDA approved NUBEQA® (darolutamide) based on the ARAMIS trial, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center Phase III study, which evaluated the safety and efficacy of oral NUBEQA in patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC).
NUBEQA is also being investigated in additional studies across various stages of prostate cancer, including in the ARANOTE Phase III trial evaluating NUBEQA plus ADT versus ADT alone for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC), as well as in the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group (ANZUP) led international Phase III co-operative group DASL-HiCaP (ANZUP1801) trial evaluating NUBEQA as an adjuvant treatment for localized prostate cancer with very high risk of recurrence. Information about these trials can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Developed jointly by Bayer and Orion Corporation, a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company, NUBEQA is indicated for the treatment of adults with nmCRPC or with mHSPC in combination with docetaxel.3 Filings in other regions are underway or planned.
NUBEQA® (darolutamide) is an androgen receptor inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adult patients with:
- Non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC)
- Metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) in combination with docetaxel
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Warnings & Precautions
Ischemic Heart Disease – In a study of patients with nmCRPC (ARAMIS), ischemic heart disease occurred in 3.2% of patients receiving NUBEQA versus 2.5% receiving placebo, including Grade 3-4 events in 1.7% vs. 0.4%, respectively. Ischemic events led to death in 0.3% of patients receiving NUBEQA vs. 0.2% receiving placebo. In a study of patients with mHSPC (ARASENS), ischemic heart disease occurred in 2.9% of patients receiving NUBEQA with docetaxel vs. 2% receiving placebo with docetaxel, including Grade 3-4 events in 1.3% vs. 1.1%, respectively. Ischemic events led to death in 0.3% of patients receiving NUBEQA with docetaxel vs. 0.0% receiving placebo with docetaxel. Monitor for signs and symptoms of ischemic heart disease. Optimize management of cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, or dyslipidemia. Discontinue NUBEQA for Grade 3-4 ischemic heart disease.
Seizure – In ARAMIS, Grade 1-2 seizure occurred in 0.2% of patients receiving NUBEQA vs. 0.2% receiving placebo. Seizure occurred 261 and 456 days after initiation of NUBEQA. In ARASENS, seizure occurred in 0.6% of patients receiving NUBEQA with docetaxel, including one Grade 3 event, vs. 0.2% receiving placebo with docetaxel. Seizure occurred 38 to 340 days after initiation of NUBEQA. It is unknown whether anti-epileptic medications will prevent seizures with NUBEQA. Advise patients of the risk of developing a seizure while receiving NUBEQA and of engaging in any activity where sudden loss of consciousness could cause harm to themselves or others. Consider discontinuation of NUBEQA in patients who develop a seizure during treatment.
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity – Safety and efficacy of NUBEQA have not been established in females. NUBEQA can cause fetal harm and loss of pregnancy. Advise males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with NUBEQA and for 1 week after the last dose.
In ARAMIS, serious adverse reactions occurred in 25% of patients receiving NUBEQA vs. 20% of patients receiving placebo. Serious adverse reactions in ≥1% of patients who received NUBEQA included urinary retention, pneumonia, and hematuria. Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 3.9% of patients receiving NUBEQA vs. 3.2% of patients receiving placebo. Fatal adverse reactions in patients who received NUBEQA included death (0.4%), cardiac failure (0.3%), cardiac arrest (0.2%), general physical health deterioration (0.2%), and pulmonary embolism (0.2%). The most common adverse reactions (>2% with a ≥2% increase over placebo), including laboratory test abnormalities, were increased AST, decreased neutrophil count, fatigue, increased bilirubin, pain in extremity, and rash. Clinically relevant adverse reactions occurring in ≥2% of patients treated with NUBEQA included ischemic heart disease and heart failure.
In ARASENS, serious adverse reactions occurred in 45% of patients receiving NUBEQA with docetaxel vs. 42% of patients receiving placebo with docetaxel. Serious adverse reactions in ≥2% of patients who received NUBEQA with docetaxel included febrile neutropenia (6%), decreased neutrophil count (2.8%), musculoskeletal pain (2.6%), and pneumonia (2.6%). Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 4% of patients receiving NUBEQA with docetaxel vs. 4% of patients receiving placebo with docetaxel. Fatal adverse reactions in patients who received NUBEQA included COVID-19/COVID-19 pneumonia (0.8%), myocardial infarction (0.3%), and sudden death (0.3%). The most common adverse reactions (≥10% with a ≥2% increase over placebo with docetaxel) were constipation, decreased appetite, rash, hemorrhage, increased weight, and hypertension. The most common laboratory test abnormalities (≥30%) were anemia, hyperglycemia, decreased lymphocyte count, decreased neutrophil count, increased AST, increased ALT, and hypocalcemia. Clinically relevant adverse reactions in <10% of patients who received NUBEQA with docetaxel included fractures, ischemic heart disease, seizures, and drug-induced liver injury.
Effect of Other Drugs on NUBEQA – Combined P-gp and strong or moderate CYP3A4 inducers decrease NUBEQA exposure, which may decrease NUBEQA activity. Avoid concomitant use.
Combined P-gp and strong CYP3A4 inhibitors increase NUBEQA exposure, which may increase the risk of NUBEQA adverse reactions. Monitor more frequently and modify NUBEQA dose as needed.
Effects of NUBEQA on Other Drugs – NUBEQA inhibits breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) transporter. Concomitant use increases exposure (AUC) and maximal concentration of BCRP substrates, which may increase the risk of BCRP substrate-related toxicities. Avoid concomitant use where possible. If used together, monitor more frequently for adverse reactions, and consider dose reduction of the BCRP substrate.
NUBEQA inhibits OATP1B1 and OATP1B3 transporters. Concomitant use may increase plasma concentrations of OATP1B1 or OATP1B3 substrates. Monitor more frequently for adverse reactions and consider dose reduction of these substrates.
Review the Prescribing Information of drugs that are BCRP, OATP1B1, and OATP1B3 substrates when used concomitantly with NUBEQA.
For important risk and use information about NUBEQA, please see the accompanying full Prescribing Information.
About Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer and Biochemical Recurrence (BCR)
Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed malignancy in men worldwide. In 2020, an estimated 1.4 million men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 375,000 died from the disease worldwide.4 Rates of advanced prostate cancer diagnoses have risen 4.5% annually since 2011.5
Hormone-sensitive prostate cancer is a type of prostate cancer that needs androgens (male hormones) to grow and therefore stops growing when androgens are not present. Almost all early-stage prostate cancers are androgen-dependent.6
Up to 50% of patients with prostate cancer develop elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in their blood after primary therapy (surgery and/or radiation therapy).7 This disease state is called biochemical recurrence (BCR). Current treatment options for patients with biochemical recurrent prostate cancer include prostatectomy, intending to be curative. If these treatments are unsuccessful, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is an option to control disease.2
About Oncology at Bayer
Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The oncology franchise at Bayer includes six marketed products and several other assets in various stages of clinical development. Together, these products reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way that cancer is treated.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2022, the Group employed around 101,000 people and had sales of 50.7 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 6.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
© 2023 Bayer
BAYER, the Bayer Cross and NUBEQA are registered trademarks of Bayer.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer 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 website 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.
- Simon NI, Parker C, Hope TA, Paller CJ, Best Approaches and Updates for Prostate Cancer Biochemical Recurrence. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2022 Apr;42: 1–8.
- Fakhrejahani, F., Madan, R.A. & Dahut, W.L. Management Options for Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer. Curr. Treat. Options in Oncol. 2017;18 (26).
- NUBEQA® (darolutamide) tablets [Prescribing Information]. Whippany, NJ: Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, August 2022
- Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.3322/caac.21660. Accessed March 2023.
- Siegel RL, Miller KD, Wagle NS, Jemal A. (2023). Cancer Statistics, 2023. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 73(1), 17–48. https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21763.
- National Cancer Institute. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. Hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/hormone-sensitive-prostate-cancer. Accessed March 2023.
- Lin X, Kapoor A, Gu Y, Chow MJ, Xu H, Major P, et al. Assessment of biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer (Review). Int J Oncol. 2019 Dec;55(6):1194-212.
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Carolyn Nagle, Tel + 201.419.0337