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Kite Announces Positive Topline Primary Results of Axicabtagene Ciloleucel from First Pivotal CAR-T Trial in Patients with Aggressive Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kite Pharma, Inc., (Nasdaq:KITE) today announced positive data from the primary analysis of ZUMA-1 for its lead CAR-T candidate, axicabtagene ciloleucel (previously referred to as KTE-C19), in patients with chemorefractory aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The study met the primary endpoint of objective response rate (ORR), or rates of tumor response (complete response + partial response) recorded after a single infusion of axicabtagene ciloleucel, with 82 percent (p<0.0001).

“Several patients we treated at Moffitt Cancer Center experienced a rapid and durable complete response with this first-of-its kind therapy. The ZUMA-1 study results suggest that axicabtagene ciloleucel could become a new standard of care for patients with refractory aggressive lymphoma.”

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These results demonstrate the treatment effect of axicabtagene ciloleucel in a patient population with multiple types of aggressive NHL, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) enrolled in Cohort 1, as well as primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) and transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL) enrolled in Cohort 2.

One hundred one patients were treated in ZUMA-1. The following table shows the ORR and rate of complete response (CR) as well as the month 6 ORR and CR:

DLBCL (n=77)

TFL/PMBCL (n=24)

Combined (n=101)

ORR (%) CR (%) ORR (%) CR (%) ORR (%) CR (%)
ORR 82 49 83 71 82 54
Month 6 36 31 54 50 41 36

Four of the 101 patients in ongoing CR did not have a month 6 tumor assessment prior to the data cut-off and are therefore categorized as non-responders for month 6 in the table above. These patients have an opportunity to be counted as a month 6 CR in a follow-up analysis, which may increase the month 6 response and month 6 CR rate.

At month 6, 41 percent of treated patients achieved a response, including 36 percent in CR. Five of the 101 patients (5 percent) continue to experience highly significant and durable partial responses (PR) with minimal abnormalities in PET scans. One of these PRs converted to a CR at month 9.

With a median follow-up of 8.7 months for this primary analysis, the median overall survival (OS) has not yet been reached. In a similar patient population, the median OS was estimated to be 6.6 months (SCHOLAR-1 study, ASCO 2016).

The most common grade 3 or higher adverse events included anemia (43 percent), neutropenia (39 percent), decreased neutrophil count (32 percent), febrile neutropenia (31 percent), decreased white blood cell count (29 percent), thrombocytopenia (24 percent), encephalopathy (21 percent) and decreased lymphocyte count (20 percent). As compared to the interim analysis, grade 3 or higher cytokine...