Genmab Announces Top-Line Phase II Results for Ofatumumab Combined With Bendamustine in Untreated and Relapsed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Company Announcement

  • 95% overall response rate and 43% complete response rate in patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • 74% overall response rate and 11% complete response rate in relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Treatment was well tolerated with 87% of patients completing the full treatment course

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, May 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genmab A/S (Copenhagen:GEN) announced today top-line results from a Phase II study of ofatumumab in combination with bendamustine in patients with untreated or relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

A total of 97 patients were treated in the study and 87% of patients completed the full course of six cycles of therapy. The study population comprised 44 patients with untreated CLL and 53 patients with relapsed CLL. In patients with untreated CLL the overall response rate (ORR) was 95%, with a complete response (CR) rate of 43%. The ORR in patients with relapsed CLL was 74%, with a CR rate of 11%. Treatment with ofatumumab and bendamustine was well tolerated by patients in the study . The most common adverse reactions (>20% of patients) were neutropenia, nausea, rash, pyrexia and thrombocytopenia.

"These data show encouraging clinical responses in patients treated with ofatumumab plus bendamustine, a commonly used chemotherapeutic agent, in both untreated and relapsed CLL. This is only the first set of key data we expect to report for ofatumumab over the next 15 months. Data from five pivotal studies are due during this time period, including results from a Phase III study of ofatumumab in front line CLL during the first half of 2013," said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab.

About the study

This Phase II study included patients who had untreated and relapsed CLL. Patients in the study were treated with a maximum of 6 cycles of study treatment. All subjects received 3 cycles of ofatumumab plus bendamustine and were eligible for additional treatment cycles dependent upon response to treatment. The primary objective of the study was to evaluate the investigator-assessed overall response rate according to the International Workshop for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (IWCLL) updated National Cancer Institute-sponsored Working Group (NCIWG) guidelines, in two populations: subjects with untreated CLL and subjects with relapsed CLL treated with ofatumumab plus bendamustine.

About chronic lymphocytic leukemia

CLL is the most common form of leukemia in adults. Based on estimates by the American Cancer Society, CLL will account for more than 15,680 new cases and more than 4,580 deaths in the United States of America alone in 2013. At present, no cure is available.

About ofatumumab

Ofatumumab is a human monoclonal antibody which targets an epitope on the CD20 molecule encompassing parts of the small and large extracellular loops (Teeling et al 2006). Ofatumumab is being developed under a co-development and commercialization agreement between Genmab and GlaxoSmithKline. Ofatumumab is marketed under the trade name ARZERRA(r) and is approved to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in patients who are refractory to fludarabine and alemtuzumab in the US and EU as well as other territories. The approval was based on results from a pivotal study in this refractory patient population where 42% of patients responded to treatment with ARZERRA. These patients had a median duration of response of 6.5 months.

In the pivotal trial on which approval was based (total population n=154), the most common adverse reactions (>=10%, all grades) to ofatumumab were neutropenia, pneumonia, pyrexia, cough, diarrhea, anemia, fatigue, dyspnoea, rash, nausea, bronchitis, and upper respiratory tract infections. The most common serious adverse reactions were infections (including pneumonia and sepsis), neutropenia, and pyrexia. A total of 108 patients (70%) experienced bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. A total of 45 patients (29%) experienced >=Grade 3 infections, of which 19 (12%) were fatal. The proportion of fatal infections in the fludarabine- and alemtuzumab-refractory group was 17%.

ARZERRA is not approved for the treatment of untreated CLL anywhere in the world.

About Genmab A/S

Genmab is a publicly traded, international biotechnology company specializing in the creation and development of differentiated human antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Founded in 1999, the company's first marketed antibody, ofatumumab (ARZERRA(r)), was approved to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia in patients who are refractory to fludarabine and alemtuzumab after less than eight years in development. Genmab's validated and next generation antibody technologies are expected to provide a steady stream of future product candidates. Partnering of innovative product candidates and technologies is a key focus of Genmab's strategy and the company has alliances with top tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. For more information visit


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Genmab A/S and its subsidiaries own the following trademarks: Genmab(r); the Y-shaped Genmab logo(r); HuMax(r); HuMax-CD20(r); DuoBody(r), HexaBodyTM and UniBody(r). Arzerra(r) is a trademark of GlaxoSmithKline.

Company Announcement no. 19
CVR no. 2102 3884

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Source:Genmab A/S