Exelixis (EXEL) Announces Statistically Significant Data from Cabozantinib Phase 2 in RCC

October 10, 2016 6:16 AM EDT

Find out which companies are about to raise their dividend well before the news hits the Street with StreetInsider.com's Dividend Insider Elite. Sign-up for a FREE trial here.

Exelixis, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXEL) announced detailed results from the CABOSUN randomized phase 2 trial of cabozantinib in patients with previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with intermediate- or poor-risk disease per the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC). Principal investigator Toni K. Choueiri, M.D. will present detailed data from late-breaking CABOSUN abstract [#LBA30_PR] today in the Presidential Symposium 3 session, starting at 16:30 CEST (local Copenhagen time) / 10:30 a.m. EDT / 7:30 a.m. PDT at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2016, which is being held October 7 – 11, 2016 in Copenhagen.

CABOSUN was conducted by The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology as part of Exelixis’ collaboration with the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (NCI-CTEP).

In CABOSUN, with a median follow-up of 20.8 months, cabozantinib demonstrated a clinically meaningful and statistically significant 31 percent reduction in the rate of disease progression or death [HR 0.69, 95% CI (0.48-0.99), one-sided P=0.012]. The median progression-free survival (PFS) for cabozantinib was 8.2 months versus 5.6 months for sunitinib, corresponding to a 2.6 months (46 percent) improvement favoring cabozantinib over sunitinib. PFS benefits were independent of IMDC risk group (intermediate or poor risk) and presence or absence of bone metastases at baseline. The results for sunitinib were in line with a previously published retrospective analysis of 1,174 intermediate- and poor-risk RCC patients from the IMDC database, which documented a median PFS of 5.6 months with a first-line targeted therapy, mainly sunitinib, in this patient population.1

Objective response rate (ORR) was also significantly improved, at 46 percent (95% CI 34% – 57%) for cabozantinib versus 18 percent (95% CI 10% to 28%) for sunitinib. With a median follow up of 22.8 months, median overall survival was 30.3 months for cabozantinib versus 21.8 months for sunitinib [HR 0.80, 95% CI (0.50 - 1.26)].

“The results presented today support the potential of cabozantinib to become a new therapeutic option for previously untreated patients following their diagnosis with advanced kidney cancer,” said Toni K. Choueiri, M.D., Director, Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and chair of the CABOSUN study. “Not only has cabozantinib surpassed sunitinib, the current standard of care, in progression-free survival and objective response rate, cabozantinib’s effects on progression-free survival were also consistently favorable across patient stratification subgroups including IMDC intermediate versus poor-risk groups and presence or absence of bone metastases.”

“We at the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology are pleased that CABOSUN has successfully demonstrated that cabozantinib has the potential to benefit patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma as a first-line therapy,” said Michael J. Morris, M.D., Associate Member at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Chair of the Alliance Genitourinary Committee. “We are grateful to everyone who has participated in the trial, especially the physicians, patients and their families.”

Based on these results, Exelixis plans to submit a Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for cabozantinib as a treatment of first-line advanced renal cell carcinoma, and is working with the Alliance to transfer the complete CABOSUN clinical database to Exelixis.

“The past year has seen a tremendous level of progress in the treatment of kidney cancer, and we are excited to be at the forefront of bringing these advancements to patients,” said Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Exelixis. “Patients in the first-line setting with either intermediate- or poor-risk disease progress rapidly with sunitinib, a current standard of care; therefore, there is a clear need for new options that provide improved clinical benefit in this difficult to treat patient population. To that end, based on the CABOSUN results, we are planning to submit a supplemental New Drug Application in the United States for cabozantinib as a first-line treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma.”

CABOSUN enrolled 157 patients with previously untreated advanced RCC: 80.9 percent of patients were intermediate risk per IMDC criteria and 19.1 percent were poor risk, 36.3 percent of patients had bone metastases, 46 percent of patients had ECOG Performance Status (PS) 0, 41 percent had ECOG PS 1, and 13 percent had ECOG PS 2. All patients were included in the efficacy analyses that followed the intent-to-treat principle. Tumor assessments were performed by the investigators following RECIST criteria. At the time of the analysis of the primary endpoint of PFS, the median duration of treatment in CABOSUN was 6.9 months with cabozantinib and 2.8 months with sunitinib; 13 patients continued on cabozantinib treatment versus 2 patients on sunitinib treatment. Dose reductions occurred for 58 percent and 49 percent of patients, respectively. Discontinuation rate due to an adverse event was 20 percent with cabozantinib and 21 percent with sunitinib.

One hundred and fifty patients were evaluable for safety. Ninety-nine percent of patients on both arms experienced at least one adverse event. The most common all causality grade 3 or 4 adverse events observed in more than 5 percent of patients were hypertension (28 percent), diarrhea (10 percent), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (8 percent), and fatigue (6 percent) in the cabozantinib arm, and hypertension (22 percent), fatigue (15 percent), diarrhea and thrombocytopenia (both 11 percent), and oral mucositis (6 percent) in the sunitinib arm. Treatment-related grade 5 events occurred in three patients in the cabozantinib arm (acute kidney injury, sepsis and jejunal perforation) and two patients in the sunitinib arm (sepsis and vascular disorder).

About the CABOSUN Study

On May 23, 2016, Exelixis announced that CABOSUN met its primary endpoint, demonstrating a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in PFS compared with sunitinib in patients with advanced intermediate- or poor-risk RCC. CABOSUN is being conducted by The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology as part of Exelixis’ collaboration with the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (NCI-CTEP).

CABOSUN was a randomized, open-label, active-controlled phase 2 trial that enrolled 157 patients with advanced RCC determined to be intermediate- or poor-risk by the IMDC criteria. Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive cabozantinib (60 mg once daily) or sunitinib (50 mg once daily, 4 weeks on followed by 2 weeks off). The primary endpoint was PFS. Secondary endpoints included overall survival and objective response rate. Eligible patients were required to have locally advanced or metastatic clear-cell RCC, ECOG performance status 0-2, and had to be intermediate or poor risk per the IMDC criteria (Heng, JCO, 2009). Prior systemic treatment for RCC was not permitted.

Please see Important Safety Information below and full U.S. prescribing information at https://cabometyx.com/downloads/cabometyxuspi.pdf.

Webcast for the Financial Community and Media

Exelixis and its partner Ipsen will jointly host a live webcast today, Monday, October 10. The webcast will begin at 19:00 CEST (local Copenhagen time) / 1:00 p.m. EDT / 10:00 a.m. PDT. During the webcast, Exelixis and Ipsen management and invited guest speakers will review and provide context of the results from the CABOSUN study, along with the other data sets on cabozantinib presented at the conference.

To access the webcast link, log onto www.exelixis.com and proceed to the Event Calendar page under Investors & Media. Please connect to the company’s website at least 15 minutes prior to the webcast to ensure adequate time for any software download that may be required to view the program. To listen to an audio-only version of the program by phone, please dial 855-299-5224 (domestic) or 631-267-4890 (international/toll dial) and use passcode 234-026-024. An archived replay of the webcast will be available on the Event Calendar page under Investors & Media at www.exelixis.com after the event concludes.


  1. Ko, J. J., Choueiri, T.K., et al. First-, second- third-line therapy for mRCC: benchmarks for trial design from the IMDC. British Journal of Cancer. 2014; 110: 1917-1922.) 110, 1917–1922.
  2. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2016. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2016.
  3. Jonasch E., Gao J., Rathmell W.K., Renal cell carcinoma. BMJ. 2014; 349:g4797.
  4. Decision Resources Report: Renal Cell Carcinoma. October 2014 (internal data on file).
  5. Harshman, L.C. and Choueiri, T.K., Targeting the hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met signaling pathway in renal cell carcinoma. Cancer J. 2013; 19(4):316-23.
  6. Rankin et al., Direct regulation of GAS6/AXL signaling by HIF promotes renal metastasis through SRC and MET. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(37):13373-8.
  7. Zhou L, Liu X-D, Sun M, et al. Targeting MET and AXL overcomes resistance to sunitinib therapy in renal cell carcinoma. Oncogene. 2015 Sep 14. doi:10.1038/onc.2015.343. [Epub ahead of print].
  8. Koochekpour et al.,The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene inhibits hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor-induced invasion and branching morphogenesis in renal carcinoma cells. Mol Cell Biol. 1999; 19(9):5902–5912.
  9. Takahashi A, Sasaki H, Kim SJ, et al. Markedly increased amounts of messenger RNAs for vascular endothelial growth factor and placenta growth factor in renal cell carcinoma associated with angiogenesis. Cancer Res. 1994;54:4233-4237.
  10. Nakagawa M, Emoto A, Hanada T, Nasu N, Nomura Y. Tubulogenesis by microvascular endothelial cells is mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in renal cell carcinoma. Br J Urol. 1997;79:681-687.


Exelixis, Inc.

Susan Hubbard, 650-837-8194

Investor Relations & Public Affairs




Exelixis, Inc.

Lindsay Treadway, 650-837-7522

Public Affairs & Advocacy Relations


Source: Exelixis, Inc.

Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!

You May Also Be Interested In

Related Categories

Corporate News, FDA, Management Comments

Related Entities

Twitter, Nomura

Add Your Comment