FDA Approves Lisocabtagene Maraleucel for Relapsed or Refractory Large B-cell Lymphoma

February 8, 2021

The following is a message from the Director of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence, Dr. Richard Pazdur:

On February 5, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved lisocabtagene maraleucel (Breyanzi, Juno Therapeutics, Inc.) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified (including DLBCL arising from indolent lymphoma), high-grade B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, and follicular lymphoma grade 3B.

Lisocabtagene maraleucel is a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy. It consists of autologous T cells that are genetically modified to produce a CAR protein, allowing the T cells to identify and eliminate CD19-expressing normal and malignant cells.

Efficacy was evaluated in TRANSCEND (NCT02631044), a single-arm, open label, multicenter trial that evaluated lisocabtagene maraleucel, preceded by lymphodepleting chemotherapy, in adults with R/R large B-cell lymphoma after at least two lines of therapy. 

Of the 192 patients evaluable for response, the overall response rate (ORR) per independent review committee assessment was 73% (95% CI: 67, 80) with a complete response (CR) rate of 54% (95% CI: 47, 61). The median time to first response was one month. Of the 104 patients who achieved CR, 65% had remission lasting at least 6 months and 62% had remission lasting at least 9 months. The estimated median duration of response (DOR) was not reached (95% CI: 16.7 months, NR) in patients who achieved a CR. The estimated median DOR among patients with partial response was 1.4 months (95% CI: 1.1, 2.2). 

Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) occurred in 46% of patients (Grade 3 or higher, 4%) and neurologic toxicity occurred in 35% (Grade 3 or higher, 12%). Three patients had fatal neurologic toxicity. Other Grade 3 or higher adverse reactions included infections (19%) and prolonged cytopenias (31%). FDA approved lisocabtagene maraleucel with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy because of the risk of fatal or life-threatening CRS and neurologic toxicities. 

The recommended regimen is a single dose containing 50 to 110 x 106 CAR-positive viable T cells with a 1:1 ratio of CD4 and CD8 components, administered by IV infusion and preceded by fludarabine and cyclophosphamide for lymphodepletion. Lisocabtagene maraleucel is not indicated for the treatment of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma.

View the Approved Cellular and Gene Therapy Products webpage for further product information.

This application was granted priority review, Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy designation, breakthrough designation and orphan drug designation. A description of FDA expedited programs is in the Guidance for Industry: Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions-Drugs and Biologics.

Healthcare professionals should report all serious adverse events suspected to be associated with the use of any medicine and device to FDA’s MedWatch Reporting System or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

For assistance with single-patient INDs for investigational oncology products, healthcare professionals may contact OCE’s Project Facilitate at 240-402-0004 or email OncProjectFacilitate@fda.hhs.gov.

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Please visit the FDA Hematology/Oncology (Cancer) Approvals & Safety Notifications webpage for a list of current and past approvals.