AstraZeneca has announced more positive results, this time from its Phase III ELEVATE-TN trial of Calquence (acalabrutinib) in patients with previously-untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

The success marks the second Calquence pivotal trial in CLL to meet its primary endpoint early, following the positive results of the ASCEND trial, announced in May.

The drug in combination with obinutuzumab demonstrated a statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) when compared with the chemotherapy-based combination of chlorambucil and obinutuzumab, thus meeting its primary endpoint.

The trial also met a key secondary endpoint showing Calquence monotherapy achieved a statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful improvement in PFS compared to the chemotherapy and obinutuzumab regimen.

Calquence is an inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK), which bonds covalently to BTK, thereby inhibiting its activity. In B-cells, BTK signalling results in activation of pathways necessary for B-cell proliferation, trafficking, chemotaxis, and adhesion.

José Baselga, executive vice president, Oncology R&D said that the findings “confirm the superiority of Calquence as a monotherapy and also in combination over standard-of-care treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The positive results from both the ELEVATE-TN and ASCEND trials will serve as the foundation for regulatory submissions later this year.”

AstraZeneca will present full results from the Phase III ASCEND clinical trial in relapsed or refractory CLL as a late-breaking abstract at the upcoming European Hematology Association Annual Congress on 16 June 2019.

CLL is the most common type of leukaemia in adults, with an estimated 191,000 new cases globally and 20,720 new cases in the US annually, and prevalence that is expected to grow with improved treatment.