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Novartis presents new Kisqali® data showing longest median overall survival ever reported in HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer

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  • With the MONALEESA-2 final analysis, only Kisqali has reported statistically significant overall survival (OS) benefit with an aromatase inhibitor for postmenopausal women with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer in the first-line (1L) setting2

  • Kisqali plus letrozole achieved median OS of over five years (63.9 months), a survival benefit of over 12 months vs. placebo plus letrozole in postmenopausal women (HR=0.76; p=0.004)2

  • Kisqali is the only CDK4/6 inhibitor with proven OS benefit across all three Phase III trials of the MONALEESA program with different endocrine therapy partners, regardless of menopausal status or line of therapy2-4

  • MONALEESA-2 OS data to be presented at ESMO Congress 2021 as a late-breaker in an oral session 

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Basel, September 19, 2021 — Novartis today announced results of the final overall survival (OS) analysis of the Phase III MONALEESA-2 study, which evaluated Kisqali® (ribociclib) in combination with letrozole compared to placebo plus letrozole in postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer with no prior systemic treatment for advanced disease. These data will be presented as a late-breaker oral presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021 on September 19 (#LBA17).

Kisqali in combination with letrozole met its key secondary endpoint of OS, demonstrating a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in survival (median 63.9 vs. 51.4 months; HR=0.76; 95% CI: 0.63-0.93; p=0.004)2. The analysis found that after a median follow-up of over six and a half years, the longest for any CDK4/6 inhibitor trial to date, the improvement in the median OS was over one year2. MONALEESA-2 showed that after five years, patients treated with Kisqali in combination with letrozole had more than a 50% chance of survival (52.3% vs. 43.9%; 95% CI: 46.5-57.7 vs. 38.3-49.4)2.

“These remarkable ribociclib overall survival data are highly encouraging and represent the longest reported median survival from a randomized trial in HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer. This extension of life is great news for our patients and the building block for further progress,” said Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, FACP, professor of medicine with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “I have spent the last 45 years researching and increasing our scientific understanding of breast cancer, so it is incredibly rewarding to see just how far we’ve come.”

In MONALEESA-2, a 12-month delay in time to chemotherapy was observed with Kisqali (median 50.6 vs. 38.9 months; HR=0.74; 95% CI: 0.61-0.91) compared to those taking letrozole alone2. With this longer follow-up, no new safety signals were observed; adverse events were consistent with previously reported Phase III trial results for Kisqali.

“As we reimagine medicine and strive for cures, our MONALEESA program continues to push boundaries by demonstrating that Kisqali is unique in its ability to give people living with advanced breast cancer more time,” said Susanne Schaffert, PhD, President, Novartis Oncology. “Our mission is to improve and extend the lives of those with cancer. For people with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer, these data are not just numbers and may mean more life milestones — yet, we will not rest as we continue to investigate the full potential that Kisqali can bring to patients.”  

In MONALEESA-2, the primary endpoint progression-free survival (PFS) was met at the initial analysis [median PFS; 95% CI (19.3 months - not reached) vs. 14.7 months (13.0 - 16.5 months); HR=0.556; p=0.00000329]5. These new OS results mark the third statistically significant and clinically meaningful survival benefit achieved by Kisqali in the MONALEESA program. Novartis will submit the data to global health authorities to support label updates.

“When treatment offers long overall survival—and in this case, the longest ever reported in HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer—patients have more time to be with family and loved ones and to pursue whatever makes them happy. These data offer new hope for people with advanced or metastatic breast cancer, which remains the leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide,” said Shirley A. Mertz, President, Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN).

Visit https://www.hcp.novartis.com/virtual-congress/esmo-2021/ for the latest information from Novartis, including our commitment to the Oncology community, and access to our ESMO2021 Virtual Scientific Program data presentations (for registered participants).

About Kisqali® (ribociclib)
Kisqali is the CDK4/6 inhibitor with the largest body of clinical trial evidence demonstrating consistent and superior overall survival benefit compared to endocrine therapy alone. Overall survival results from MONALEESA-7 and MONALEESA-3 were presented at ASCO 2019 and ESMO 2019 respectively, as well as published in the New England Journal of Medicine, with updated exploratory analyses presented at SABCS 2020 and ASCO 2021, demonstrating Kisqali plus endocrine therapy significantly extends life in pre/perimenopausal or postmenopausal women with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer3,4,6,7.

Kisqali is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and by the European Commission (EC) as initial endocrine-based therapy for postmenopausal women with HR+/HER2- locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer in combination with an aromatase inhibitor. Kisqali in combination with an aromatase inhibitor is approved for the treatment of pre-, peri- or postmenopausal women as initial endocrine-based therapy, and also indicated for use in combination with fulvestrant as both first- or second-line therapy in postmenopausal women by the FDA and by the EC9. Kisqali is approved in over 95 countries1.

Novartis is continuing to reimagine cancer with additional trials of Kisqali. NATALEE is a large confirmatory clinical trial of Kisqali with endocrine therapy in the adjuvant treatment of HR+/HER2- early breast cancer being conducted in collaboration with Translational Research In Oncology (TRIO)10. Novartis is also collaborating with SOLTI, who is leading the Phase III HARMONIA clinical trial evaluating Kisqali compared to palbociclib in patients with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer with aggressive tumor biology, defined as HER2-enriched1.

Kisqali was developed by the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) under a research collaboration with Astex Pharmaceuticals.

About Novartis in Advanced Breast Cancer
Novartis tackles breast cancer with superior science, collaboration and a passion for transforming patient care. We've taken a bold approach to our research by including patient populations often neglected in clinical trials, identifying new pathways or mutations that may play a role in disease progression and developing therapies that not only maintain, but also improve, quality of life for patients. Our priority over the past 30 years and today is to deliver treatments proven to improve and extend lives for those diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.

Important Safety Information from the Kisqali EU SmPC
Kisqali® (ribociclib) is a prescription medicine approved in combination with an aromatase inhibitor as initial endocrine - based therapy in women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer or fulvestrant as initial endocrine - based therapy or following disease progression on endocrine therapy in postmenopausal women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer. It is not known if Kisqali is safe and effective in children or adolescents. Kisqali can cause a heart problem known as QT prolongation. This condition can cause an abnormal heartbeat and may lead to death. Kisqali is not indicated for concomitant use with tamoxifen due to an increased risk of QT prolongation. Patients should tell their health care provider right away if they have a change in their heartbeat (a fast or irregular heartbeat), or if they feel dizzy or faint. Kisqali can cause serious liver problems. Patients should tell their health care provider right away if they get any of the following signs and symptoms of liver problems: yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice), dark or brown (tea-colored) urine, feeling very tired, loss of appetite, pain on the upper right side of the stomach area (abdomen), and bleeding or bruising more easily than normal. Low white blood cell counts are very common when taking Kisqali and may result in infections that may be severe. Patients should tell their health care provider right away if they have signs and symptoms of low white blood cell counts or infections such as fever and chills. Before taking Kisqali, patients should tell their health care provider if they are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant as Kisqali can harm an unborn baby. Females who are able to become pregnant and who take Kisqali should use highly effective birth control during treatment and for at least 3 weeks after the last dose of Kisqali. Do not breastfeed during treatment with Kisqali and for at least 3 weeks after the last dose of Kisqali. Patients should tell their health care provider about all of the medicines they take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements since they may interact with Kisqali. Patients should avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking Kisqali. The most common side effects (incidence >=20%) include infections, white blood cell count decreases, headache, cough, nausea, tiredness, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, hair loss and rash. The most common Grade 3/4 side effects (incidence >5%) were infections, low neutrophils, low leukocytes, low red blood cells, abnormal liver function tests, low lymphocytes, low phosphate levels and vomiting. Abnormalities were observed in hematology and clinical chemistry laboratory tests.

Please see full Prescribing Information for Kisqali, available at www.Kisqali.com.

Disclaimer
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “may,” “could,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “look forward,” “believe,” “committed,” “investigational,” “pipeline,” “launch,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this press release, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures and requirements for increased pricing transparency; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political, economic and business conditions, including the effects of and efforts to mitigate pandemic diseases such as COVID-19; safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.

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References

  1. Novartis Data on File. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp: 2021.
  2. Hortobagyi, et al. Overall survival (OS) results from the phase III MONALEESA (ML)-2 trial of postmenopausal patients with hormone receptor positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HR+/HER2−) advanced breast cancer (ABC) treated with endocrine therapy (ET) ± ribociclib. Presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress, September 16-21, 2021, (Abstract #LBA17).
  3. Im, S. A. et al. Overall Survival with Ribociclib plus Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med 2019; 381:307-316.
  4. Slamon DJ, Neven P, Chia S, Fasching PA, De Laurentiis M, Im S-A, et al. Overall survival with ribociclib plus fulvestrant in advanced breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(6):514–24.
  5. Hortobagyi G, Stemmer S, Burris H, et al. Ribociclib as First-Line Therapy for HR-Positive, Advanced Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2016;375:1738-1748.
  6. Slamon D, Neven P, Chia S, et al. Updated overall survival (OS) results from the Phase III MONALEESA-3 trial of postmenopausal patients (pts) with HR+/HER2− advanced breast cancer (ABC) treated with fulvestrant (FUL) ± ribociclib (RIB. Presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, June 5, 2021, (Abstract #1001).
  7. Tripathy D, Im S-A, Colleoni M, et al, Updated overall survival (OS) results from the phase III MONALEESA-7 trial of pre- or perimenopausal patients with HR+/HER2− advanced breast cancer (ABC) treated with endocrine therapy (ET) ± ribociclib. Presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 9, 2020. Abstract #PD2-04.
  8. Ferlay, J, et al. Global Cancer Observatory: Cancer Today. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Available at: https://gco.iarc.fr/today/online-analysis-table?v=2020&mode=cancer&mode_population=continents&population=900&populations=900&key=asr&sex=2&cancer=39&type=1&statistic=5&prevalence=0&population_group=0&ages_group%5B%5D=0&ages_group%5B%5D=17&group_cancer=1&include_nmsc=1&include_nmsc_other=1, accessed August 18, 2021.
  9. Kisqali (ribociclib) Prescribing information. East Hanover, New Jersey, USA: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; July 2020.
  10. Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Translational Research in Oncology (2018, December 7 - 2026, May 29). A Trial to Evaluate Efficacy and Safety of Ribociclib With Endocrine Therapy as Adjuvant Treatment in Patients With HR+/HER2- Early Breast Cancer (NATALEE). Identifier NCT03701334. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03701334.

# # #

Novartis Media Relations
E-mail: media.relations@novartis.com

Anja von Treskow        
Novartis External Communications
+41 79 392 8697 (mobile)
anja.von_treskow@novartis.com



Julie Masow
Novartis US External Communications
+1 862 579 8456
julie.masow@novartis.com
Ashley Buford
Novartis Oncology Communications
+1 201 953 4364
ashley.buford@novartis.com

Novartis Investor Relations
Central investor relations line: +41 61 324 7944
E-mail: investor.relations@novartis.com

Central North America
Samir Shah +41 61 324 7944 Sloan Simpson +1 862 345 4440
Thomas Hungerbuehler +41 61 324 8425 Alina Levchuk +1 862 778 3372
Isabella Zinck +41 61 324 7188 Parag Mahanti +1 973-876-4912
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