FDA D.I.S.C.O. Burst Edition: FDA approval of ABECMA (idecabtagene vicleucel) the first FDA approved cell-based gene therapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma

Welcome back to the D.I.S.C.O., FDA’s Drug Information Soundcast in Clinical Oncology, Burst Edition, brought to you by FDA’s Division of Drug Information in partnership with FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence. Today we have another quick update on a recent FDA cancer therapeutic approval.

On March 26, 2021, the FDA approved idecabtagene vicleucel (brand name Abecma) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma after four or more prior lines of therapy, including an immunomodulatory agent, a proteasome inhibitor, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody. This is the first FDA-approved cell-based gene therapy for multiple myeloma.

Idecabtagene vicleucel is a B-cell maturation antigen-directed genetically modified autologous chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. Each dose is customized using a patient’s own T-cells, which are collected and genetically modified, and infused back into the patient.

Safety and efficacy were evaluated in a multicenter study of 127 patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who received at least three prior lines of antimyeloma therapies, 88% of whom had received four or more prior lines of therapies. Efficacy was evaluated in 100 patients who received idecabtagene vicleucel and was established based on overall response rate, complete response rate, and duration of response, as evaluated by an Independent Response committee using the International Myeloma Working Group Uniform Response Criteria for Multiple Myeloma.

The overall response rate was 72% and complete response rate was 28%. An estimated 65% of patients who achieved complete response remained in complete response for at least 12 months.

The idecabtagene vicleucel label carries a boxed warning for cytokine release syndrome, neurologic toxicities, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/ macrophage activation syndrome, and prolonged cytopenias. Idecabtagene vicleucel is approved with a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy requiring that healthcare facilities dispensing the therapy must be specially certified to recognize and manage cytokine release syndrome and nervous system toxicities. To evaluate long-term safety, the FDA is requiring the manufacturer to conduct a post-marketing observational study involving patients treated with idecabtagene vicleucel.

Full prescribing information for this approval can be found on the web at www.fda.gov, with key word search “Approved Cellular and Gene Therapy Products”.