Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, so it was good news this morning when Medivation & Astellas issued a press release that showed positive data from the phase 3 AFFIRM trial for MDV3100.
MDV3100 produced a 4.8-month advantage in median overall survival compared to placebo.
The estimated median survival for men treated with MDV3100 was 18.4 months compared with 13.6 months for men treated with placebo.
MDV3100 provided a 37 percent reduction in risk of death compared to placebo (Hazard Ratio=0.631).
To put the 4.8 month survival advantage in context, this compares favorably with 3.9 months for abiraterone (Hazard Ratio =0.646), in the COU-AA-301 trial.
Positive data was expected given the sound scientific rationale behind MDV3100 and the preliminary data (abstract 4501) presented at the ASCO annual meeting this year. J Clin Oncol 29: 2011 (suppl; abstr 4501).
The drug has a high affinity for the androgen receptor (AR) that is highly expressed on prostate cancer cells. You can read an excellent interview on Pharma Strategy Blog with Charles Sawyers, who was one of the co-inventors.
MDV3011 blocks the androgen receptor (AR) from moving into the nucleus and activating growth genes and is a more complete inhibitor of AR than bicalutamide.
One hot topic of conversation at ASCO was the potential to combine MDV3100 (androgen receptor blocker) with abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) (androgen synthesis inhibitor), thereby shutting down upstream and downstream activity of the driving receptor in advanced prostate cancer. The scientific rationale for this appears sound, so it is likely that a combination clinical trial may well be done to test this hypothesis at some point in the future.
MDV3100 has a significant advantage over abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) in that concomitant steroids are not required. Daily steroids have their side effects. Urologists in particular will be attracted to MDV3100 and its ease of use.
Clinical trials in prostate cancer are ongoing with a multitude of new emerging therapies including TAK-700, Cabozantinib (XL184), radium-223 chloride (Alpharadin), BPX-101, Prostvac-VF, ipilumumab, Custirsen (OGX-011), dasatinib (Sprycel), lenalidomide (Revlimid) and ARN-509 to name but a few.
It is a therapeutic area with a lot going on after very little activity for a decade. The positive interim data for MDV3100 announced today is good news for prostate cancer patients, and we await presentation of the data next year.
Medivation and Astellas plan to hold a pre-NDA meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early 2012, so US approval could be possible later next year.