Immunocore is a commercial-stage biotechnology company based in England with its U.S. headquarters in Rockville, pioneering the development of a novel class of TCR bispecific immunotherapies called ImmTAX – Immune mobilizing monoclonal TCRs Against X disease – designed to treat a broad range of diseases, including cancer, autoimmune, and infectious disease.
Yesterday, Immunocore announced the FDA approval of KIMMTRAK for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma. Uveal melanoma is a rare and aggressive form of melanoma, which affects the eye. Although it is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults, the diagnosis is rare, and up to 50% of people with uveal melanoma will eventually develop metastatic disease. Unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma typically has a poor prognosis and had no approved treatment until KIMMTRAK.
More information, via the press release, below:
KIMMTRAK is the first and only FDA approved therapy for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma (mUM)
KIMMTRAK is the first T cell receptor (TCR) therapeutic to receive regulatory approval
KIMMTRAK demonstrated statistically and clinically meaningful overall survival (OS) benefit, hazard ratio of 0.51, with median OS of almost 22 months
Company to host an investor call today at 8:30 AM ET
(OXFORDSHIRE, England & CONSHOHOCKEN, Penn. & ROCKVILLE, Md., US, Wednesday, January 26, 2022) Immunocore Holdings plc (Nasdaq: IMCR) (“Immunocore” or the “Company”), a commercial-stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of a novel class of T cell receptor (TCR) bispecific immunotherapies designed to treat a broad range of diseases, including cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases today announces approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of KIMMTRAK® (tebentafusp-tebn) for the treatment of HLA-A*02:01-positive adult patients with unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma (mUM).
KIMMTRAK’s approval establishes many firsts as the first TCR therapeutic to receive regulatory approval from the FDA, the first bispecific T cell engager to receive regulatory approval from the FDA to treat a solid tumor, and the first and only therapy for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma to be approved by the FDA.
Bahija Jallal, Chief Executive Officer of Immunocore, said: “Today’s approval of KIMMTRAK is a historic milestone and the culmination of years of dedication by the Immunocore team, patients, and our healthcare partners. Every year in the United States, hundreds of people are diagnosed with metastatic uveal melanoma who, until now, had no approved treatment options. KIMMTRAK is the first therapy to demonstrate a survival benefit to patients with this disease and we are focused on making KIMMTRAK available as quickly as possible.
Dr. Jallal continues, “We’re also proud to have developed the world’s first approved TCR therapeutic, which we believe validates the strength of our platform and opens doors for us to explore further breakthrough discoveries in TCR therapeutics for the treatment of other cancers and diseases with high unmet need.”
“Uveal melanoma is a devastating disease that has historically resulted in death within a year of metastasis for our patients,” said John Kirkwood, MD, director of the Melanoma Center at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “The approval of KIMMTRAK (tebentafusp-tebn) represents a major paradigm shift in the treatment of metastatic uveal melanoma, and for the first time offers hope to those with this aggressive form of cancer.”
The approval of KIMMTRAK is based on the results of Immunocore’s Phase 3 IMCgp100-202 clinical trial, which were published in the September 23, 2021 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The randomized pivotal trial evaluated overall survival (OS) of KIMMTRAK compared to investigator’s choice (either pembrolizumab, ipilimumab, or dacarbazine) in patients with previously untreated mUM. 378 patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to either KIMMTRAK or investigator’s choice. Data from the trial, the largest Phase 3 trial undertaken in mUM, showed that KIMMTRAK demonstrated unprecedented median OS benefit as a first-line treatment. The OS Hazard Ratio (HR) in the intent-to-treat population favored KIMMTRAK, HR=0.51 (95% CI: 0.37, 0.71); p< 0.0001, over investigator’s choice (82% pembrolizumab; 13% ipilimumab; 6% dacarbazine). In the clinical trials, across both arms, patients stopped treatment for disease progression, unless the patient was otherwise deriving benefit, or for unacceptable toxicity.
“When my husband, Gregg, was diagnosed with metastatic uveal melanoma, it was devastating to learn that there were no treatment options shown to extend life.” said Sara Selig, MD, MPH, Co-Founder and Director of the Melanoma Research Foundation’s (MRF) CURE OM initiative. “Now, for the first time in the history of this disease, we will soon see extended survival in the next generation of metastatic uveal melanoma patients.”
In the randomized Phase 3 trial of KIMMTRAK (tebentafusp-tebn), treatment-related adverse reactions were manageable and consistent with the proposed mechanism. Among the patients treated with KIMMTRAK, the most common Grade 3 or higher adverse reactions were rash (18%), pyrexia (4%), and pruritus (5%). In the 245 patients treated with KIMMTRAK, Grade 3 cytokine release syndrome (CRS) occurred in <1% of patients and were generally well-managed. There were no Grade 4 or fatal CRS events observed in the Phase 3 trial. A boxed warning is included for CRS as it has the potential to become serious or life-threatening if not managed appropriately.
“Until now, effective treatment options for metastatic uveal melanoma patients were virtually non-existent. The approval of KIMMTRAK represents not only a new therapy but a new hope for the individuals and the families of those diagnosed with the deadliest form of eye cancer,” said Kyleigh LiPira, MBA, CEO of the MRF.
The company is ready to commercialize KIMMTRAK and expects to make the product commercially available in the United States within weeks.
KIMMTRAK was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma by the FDA in February 2021. The Biologics License Application (BLA) approval followed review under the Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) program, an initiative of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence designed for efficient delivery of safe and effective cancer treatments to patients. The approval was granted four weeks ahead of the assigned PDUFA date of February 23, 2022. Immunocore provided an Assessment AID to facilitate FDA review. KIMMTRAK is being reviewed under the FDA’s Project Orbis initiative, which enabled concurrent review by the health authorities in partner countries that have requested participation.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Health Canada, and the Australian Government Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have accepted the submission of the Company’s Marketing Authorisation Application. Additionally, Immunocore launched a global early access program to make KIMMTRAK readily available to mUM patients. There are currently over 200 patients in 13 countries in the early access program.
Immunocore is committed to helping patients who need KIMMTRAK obtain access via its KIMMTRAKConnect program. The program provides services with dedicated nurse case managers who provide personalized support, including educational resources, financial assistance, and site of care coordination. To learn more, visit KIMMTRAKConnect.com, which will launch later this week, or call 844-775-CARE (2273).