Eisai is Appalled by Arbitrary Decision to Remove Life-Extending Breast Cancer Therapy Halaven® (Eribulin) From Cancer D

Publicado 08/01/2015 1:02:31CET

Study 301 was an open-labelled, randomised, two-parallel-arm, multicentre study of eribulin versus capecitabine in 1,102 women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer previously treated with anthracyclines and taxanes, either in the (neo) adjuvant setting or for locally advanced or metastatic disease. Women in the study received zero to two previous chemotherapies for advanced disease.

The study opened in 2006 and the last patient was randomised in 2010. Patients were randomised to treatment with either eribulin 1.23mg/m2 (administered intravenously over two to five minutes on days 1 and 8, every 21 days) or capecitabine 1.25 g/m2, administered orally twice daily on day 1 to 14, every 21 days.

Study 301 had a co-primary endpoint of overall survival and progression free survival. The study demonstrated a trend favouring improved overall survival with eribulin compared to capecitabine in the ITT population, although the improvement was not statistically significant. Women treated with eribulin had a median overall survival of 15.9 months (HR 0.879; 95% CI: 0.770-1.003; p=0.056) versus 14.5 months with capecitabine. The trial did not meet the pre-specified endpoint for progression-free survival, with 4.1 and 4.2 months for eribulin and capecitabine (independent review) respectively (HR 1.079; 95% CI: 0.932-1.250; p=0.305).

1--, 2- and 3- year overall survival rates for eribulin versus capecitabine showed an early improvement which was maintained throughout the study (1 year, 64.4% eribulin vs 58.0% capecitabine (p=0.0351), 2 year 32.8% eribulin vs. 29.8% capecitabine (p=0.324), 3 year, 17.8% eribulin vs. 14.5% capecitabine (p=0.175).

Unlike studies conducted today, Study 301 included all women regardless of their human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), oestrogen receptor (ER) or progesterone receptor (PR) status. Patients are usually tested for their HER2 status as there are now effective treatments specifically for patients with the HER2 mutation. HER2 positive patients would generally be treated with anti-HER2 positive targeted therapy. For women with HER2 negative MBC (n=755), overall survival was 15.9 months for eribulin vs. 13.5 months for capecitabine (HR 0.838; 95% CI: 0.715-0.983). In the HER2 positive population, overall survival was 14.3 months for eribulin vs. 17.1 months for capecitabine (HR; 95% 0.965; CI: 0.688-1.355).

Adverse events in Study 301 were consistent with the known profile of both drugs.

Metastatic Breast Cancer and the HER2 Protein

Over 300,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Europe every year, of whom about one third subsequently develop metastatic disease.[4],[5]Metastatic disease is an advanced stage of the disease that occurs when cancer spreads beyond the breast to other parts of the body.

HER2 is a protein that is found on the surface of cells. In HER2-positive breast cancer there is more (over expression) of this protein found on the surface of tumour cells compared with normal breast cells. This protein can be targeted with HER2 targeted therapies such as Herceptin, in people who overexpress HER2, but not in people with normal levels of HER2 protein (HER2-negative) breast cancer. Breast cancers are routinely tested for the presence of HER2 to decide the most appropriate treatment. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) refers to any breast cancer that does not express the genes for oestrogen receptor, progesterone receptor (<1%) and HER2 (<30%).

Eisai in Oncology

Our commitment to meaningful progress in oncology research, built on scientific expertise, is supported by a global capability to conduct discovery and preclinical research, and develop small molecules, therapeutic vaccines, and biologic and supportive care agents for cancer across multiple indications.

About Eisai Co., Ltd.

Eisai Co., Ltd. is a leading global research and development-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan. We define our corporate mission as "giving first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits health care provides," which we call our human health care (hhc) philosophy. With over 10,000 employees working across our global network of R&D facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, we strive to realise our hhc philosophy by delivering innovative products in multiple therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including Oncology and Neurology.

As a global pharmaceutical company, our mission extends to patients around the world through our investment and participation in partnership-based initiatives to improve access to medicines in developing and emerging countries.

For more information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit http://www.eisai.com.


1. SPC Halaven (updated June 2014). Available at: http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/24382/SPC/Halaven+0... Accessed: January 2015

2. Cortes J et al. Eribulin monotherapy versus treatment of physician's choice in patients with metastatic breast cancer (EMBRACE): a phase 3 open-label randomised study. The Lancet. 2011;377:914-923

3. Kaufman P et al. A Phase III, open-label, randomised, multicenter study of eribulin mesylate versus capecitabine in patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer previously treated with anthracyclines and taxanes. Presented at 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

4. World Health Organisation. Atlas of Health in Europe. 2003. World Health Organization, Regional Office of Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark.

5. Cancer Research UK. Breast cancer incidence statistics. Available at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/type... . Accessed: January 2015

Job code: Halaven-UK0385
Date of preparation: January 2015

CONTACT: Media Enquiries: Eisai Europe Ltd, Cressida Robson/Ben Speller, 8 Ene. (0) - 7908 314 155/+44(0)7908 409 416, Cressida_Robson@eisai.net,Ben_Speller@eisai.net; Tonic Life Communications, Alex Davies/NicolaLilley, +44(0)207 798 9262 /+44 (0)207 798 9905, Alex.Davies@toniclc.com,Nicola.Lilley@toniclc.com

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