Novartis' asciminib bests Pfizer's Bosulif in phase 3 leukemia trial
Novartis’ asciminib has outperformed Pfizer’s Bosulif in a phase 3 chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) study, moving it closer to winning approval of a candidate designed to address drug resistance and intolerance.
Investigators enrolled 234 CML patients who had previously received two or more tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and randomized them to take asciminib or Pfizer’s Bosulif orally once a day. At 24 weeks, the investigators assessed whether patients had experienced a large enough drop in the amount of BCR-ABL gene in their blood to be classed as experiencing a major molecular response (MMR).
Asciminib, also known as ABL001, is designed to provide a better treatment option for patients who develop resistance to TKIs. Unlike many of its rivals, asciminib doesn’t bind to the ATP-binding site. By acting on another part of the kinase, namely the ABL myristoyl pocket, the allosteric inhibitor may be able to improve outcomes in patients who develop resistance to other TKIs.