Zai Lab Partner Novocure Announces Update on Phase 3 Pivotal LUNAR Trial of Tumor Treating Fields in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Pre-specified interim analysis concluded with favorable recommendation to continue the LUNAR trial
DMC stated accrual to 534 patients is likely unnecessary and possibly unethical for patients randomized to control arm and recommended a shortened trial
The DMC also stated that it is likely unnecessary and possibly unethical for patients randomized to the control arm to continue accrual to 534 patients with 18 months follow-up. The DMC recommended a reduced sample size of approximately 276 patients with 12 months follow-up which it believes will provide sufficient overall power for both primary and secondary endpoints. The DMC recommended no other changes to the design of the trial. Novocure remains blinded to all data.
The primary endpoint of the LUNAR trial is superior overall survival when patients are treated with TTFields plus immune checkpoint inhibitors or docetaxel versus immune checkpoint inhibitors or docetaxel alone. The final analysis will also include an analysis of overall survival in the immune checkpoint inhibitor and docetaxel treatment subgroups.
Novocure has notified the
“We are very pleased with the DMC recommendations, which we believe support the potential for TTFields to make a significant difference in treatment outcomes for patients with non-small cell lung cancer, whether used together with immune checkpoint inhibitors or docetaxel,” said
“Combination therapy is a cornerstone of cancer care, and we believe using TTFields together with other cancer treatments, including immunotherapies, may lead to better outcomes for some patients,” continued
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and NSCLC accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. It is estimated that approximately 193,000 patients are diagnosed with NSCLC each year in the
“The completion of the LUNAR interim analysis is an important milestone for Novocure,” said
About NSCLC in
Lung cancer consists of NSCLC in approximately 85% of cases and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in approximately 15% of cases. Lung cancer has the highest total incidence of any cancer in
LUNAR is a phase 3 pivotal trial testing the effectiveness of TTFields in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors or docetaxel versus immune checkpoint inhibitors or docetaxel alone for patients with stage 4 NSCLC who progressed during or after platinum-based therapy. It is estimated that approximately 46,000 patients receive second-line treatment for stage 4 NSCLC each year in the
About Tumor Treating Fields
Tumor Treating Fields, or TTFields, are electric fields that disrupt cancer cell division.
When cancer develops, rapid and uncontrolled division of unhealthy cells occurs. Electrically charged proteins within the cell are critical for cell division, making the rapidly dividing cancer cells vulnerable to electrical interference. All cells are surrounded by a bilipid membrane, which separates the interior of the cell, or cytoplasm, from the space around it. This membrane prevents low frequency electric fields from entering the cell. TTFields, however, have a unique frequency range, between 100 to 500 kHz, enabling the electric fields to penetrate the cancer cell membrane. As healthy cells differ from cancer cells in their division rate, geometry and electric properties, the frequency of TTFields can be tuned to specifically affect the cancer cells while leaving healthy cells mostly unaffected.
Whether cells are healthy or cancerous, cell division, or mitosis, is the same. When mitosis starts, charged proteins within the cell, or microtubules, form the mitotic spindle. The spindle is built on electric interaction between its building blocks. During division, the mitotic spindle segregates the chromosomes, pulling them in opposite directions. As the daughter cells begin to form, electrically polarized molecules migrate towards the midline to make up the mitotic cleavage furrow. The furrow contracts and the two daughter cells separate. TTFields can interfere with these conditions. When TTFields are present in a dividing cancer cell, they cause the electrically charged proteins to align with the directional forces applied by the field, thus preventing the mitotic spindle from forming. Electrical forces also interrupt the migration of key proteins to the cell midline, disrupting the formation of the mitotic cleavage furrow. Interfering with these key processes disrupts mitosis and can lead to cell death.
TTFields is intended principally for use together with other standard-of-care cancer treatments. There is a growing body of evidence that supports TTFields' broad applicability with certain other cancer therapies, including radiation therapy, certain chemotherapies and certain immunotherapies. In clinical research and commercial experience to date, TTFields has exhibited no systemic toxicity, with mild to moderate skin irritation being the most common side effect.
Fundamental scientific research extends across two decades and, in all preclinical research to date, TTFields has demonstrated a consistent anti-mitotic effect. The TTFields global development program includes a broad range of clinical trials across all phases, included four phase 3 pivotal trials in a variety of tumor types. To date, more than 18,000 patients have been treated with TTFields.
Use of Tumor Treating Fields for the treatment of NSCLC is investigational only.
Novocure is a global oncology company working to extend survival in some of the most aggressive forms of cancer through the development and commercialization of its innovative therapy, TTFields. TTFields are electric fields that disrupt cancer cell division. Novocure’s commercialized products are approved for the treatment of adult patients with glioblastoma and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Novocure has ongoing clinical trials investigating TTFields in brain metastases, gastric cancer, glioblastoma, liver cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and ovarian cancer.
Headquartered in Jersey, Novocure has
Zai Lab Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements about future expectations, plans and prospects for
Novocure Forward-Looking Statements
In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide Novocure’s current expectations or forecasts of future events. These may include statements regarding LUNAR progress and timelines, interpretation of the LUNAR interim analysis, anticipated scientific progress on its research programs, clinical trial progress, development of potential products, interpretation of clinical results, prospects for regulatory approval, manufacturing development and capabilities, market prospects for its products, coverage, collections from third-party payers and other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts. You may identify some of these forward-looking statements by the use of words in the statements such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” or other words and terms of similar meaning. Novocure’s performance and financial results could differ materially from those reflected in these forward-looking statements due to general financial, economic, regulatory and political conditions as well as issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and other more specific risks and uncertainties facing Novocure such as those set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on
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