Clovis Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLVS) announced on 8/8/18 the randomization of the first patient in the Phase 3 ATHENA trial evaluating the combination of Clovis’ Rubraca (rucaparib), a poly (ADP ribose) polymerase inhibitor (PARP), and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s PD-1 inhibitor, OPDIVO (nivolumab), for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. ATHENA, sponsored by Clovis, is part of a clinical collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb and is being conducted in association with the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) and the European Network for Gynecological Oncological Trials (ENGOT). GOG and ENGOT are the two largest cooperative groups in the U.S. and Europe dedicated to the treatment of gynecological cancers.
“I am pleased the GOG and ENGOT are conducting the first trial designed to investigate whether the combination of a PARP inhibitor and PD-1 blocking antibody can demonstrate not only an improvement in progression-free survival in the first-line maintenance setting for women with advanced ovarian cancer, but also whether the combination can change the natural course of the disease by delaying or reducing recurrence following front-line therapy,” said Brad Monk, M.D., FACS, FACOG, Arizona Oncology (US Oncology Network), Professor, Gynecologic Oncology at University of Arizona and Creighton University, Medical Director of US Oncology Research Gynecology program in Phoenix, Arizona and Lead Investigator of the ATHENA trial.
ATHENA is a Phase 3, randomized, multinational, double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-arm trial evaluating Rubraca and Opdivo as maintenance treatment following response to front-line treatment in newly-diagnosed ovarian cancer patients. Response to treatment will be analyzed based on homologous recombination (HR) status of tumor samples. The primary endpoint is investigator assessed progression-free survival (PFS); secondary endpoints include overall survival (OS), objective response rate (ORR), duration of response (DOR), and safety.
Rubraca is an oral, small molecule inhibitor of PARP1, PARP2 and PARP3 being developed in multiple tumor types, including ovarian, metastatic castration-resistant prostate, and bladder cancers, as monotherapy, and in combination with other anti-cancer agents. Exploratory studies in other tumor types are also underway. Clovis holds worldwide rights for Rubraca. Rubraca is an unlicensed medical product outside of the U.S. and Europe.
In the US, Rubraca is currently approved as monotherapy for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy. It is also indicated as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with deleterious BRCA mutation (germline and/or somatic) associated epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who have been treated with two or more chemotherapies and selected for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for Rubraca.
Clovis recently announced that they had reached an agreement with the SEC to settle an investigation for $20 million. The investigation revolved around response rate claims Clovis had made about rociletinib. When the company slashed response rate data on the drug by more than 20 points, some claimed they had been misrepresenting data consistently over several years.