February 26th, 2020

// ENCLEXTA® with Rituximab, a Treatment for Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), now reimbursed in British Columbia

ENCLEXTA® with Rituximab, a Treatment for Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), now reimbursed in British Columbia

  • British Columbia is the second province to reimburse the combination treatment. 
  • VENCLEXTA® + rituximab is a regimen that includes a targeted oral agent that should be continued for two years after initial five weeks ramp-up phase. 

MONTREAL, Feb. 26, 2020 /CNW/ - AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a global research and development-based biopharmaceutical company, today announced that VENCLEXTA® in combination with rituximab, a treatment for patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) who have received at least one prior therapy, is now listed in British Columbia. VENCLEXTA in combination with rituximab is an effective treatment option that has the benefit of a finite treatment approach, meaning patients stop their therapy after two years of treatment.

"CLL is a chronic cancer, meaning that patients may eventually relapse. This is why it is important to have access to new innovative therapies and combinations. With VENCLEXTA in combination with rituximab, I am able to prescribe to my patients living with CLL an effective treatment with a clearly defined end-date, which is positive news for patients," explains Dr. Alina Gerrie, MD MPH FRCPC, Assistant Professor, Hematology and Medical Oncology, University of British Columbia, Lymphoma Tumour Group, BC Cancer.

British Columbia Cancer in coordination with their Lymphoma Tumour Group has listed VENCLEXTA in combination with rituximab on formulary for the treatment of relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia in patients who have received at least one prior line of therapy.i

"The listing of VENCLEXTA plus rituximab in British Columbia is positive news for the people living with CLL," says Elizabeth Lye, Director of Research & Programs, Lymphoma Canada. "Receiving a diagnosis of CLL or any cancer is always shocking and overwhelming, therefore knowing that there are effective treatments available provides reassurance to people facing this uncertain journey."

Furthermore, VENCLEXTA in combination with rituximab is listed as a Limited Use (LU) product on the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB).ii

CLL, which is typically a slow-progressing cancer of the bone marrow and bloodiii, is one of the most common types of leukemia in adults. In Canada, CLL accounts for approximately 1,745 newly diagnosed cases of leukemia each year and is responsible for more than 600 deaths a year.iv

VENCLEXTA continues to be investigated in CLL and other hematological diseases. VENCLEXTA is being developed by AbbVie and Roche. It is jointly commercialized by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the U.S. and by AbbVie outside of the U.S.

About the MURANO Study
A total of 389 patients with relapse / refractory (R/R) CLL who had received at least one prior therapy were enrolled in the international, multicenter, open-label, randomized (1:1) MURANO study (NCT02005471). The study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of VENCLEXTA in combination with rituximab (194 patients) compared with bendamustine in combination with rituximab (195 patients). The median age of patients in the trial was 65 years (range 22-85).v  The MURANO study is unique in its design with the intention for patients to stop therapy after 24 months.

About AbbVie Care
Canadians prescribed VENCLEXTA can be enrolled in AbbVie Care, AbbVie's signature care program. The program is designed to provide a wide range of customized services including reimbursement and financial support, pharmacy services, lab work reminders and coordination, personalized education and ongoing disease management support throughout the treatment. For more information, please visit www.abbviecare.ca.  

About AbbVie in Oncology
At AbbVie, we strive to discover and develop medicines that deliver transformational improvements in cancer treatment by uniquely combining our deep knowledge in core areas of biology with cutting-edge technologies, and by working together with our partners – scientists, clinical experts, industry peers, advocates, and patients. We remain focused on delivering these transformative advances in treatment across some of the most debilitating and widespread cancers. We are also committed to exploring solutions to help patients obtain access to our cancer medicines. AbbVie's oncology portfolio now consists of marketed medicines and a pipeline containing multiple new molecules being evaluated worldwide in more than 300 clinical trials and more than 20 different tumor types.

About AbbVie
AbbVie is a global, research and development-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world's most complex and critical conditions. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience.  In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.ca and www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvieCanada and @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.

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i BC Cancer. http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/chemotherapy-protocols-site/Documents/Lymphoma-Myeloma/ULYVENETOR_Protocol.pdf. Accessed February 2020. 
ii Non-Insured Health Benefits: Drug Benefit List. https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1572888328565/1572888420703#s4d. Accessed February 2020.
iii Lymphoma Canada. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. www.lymphoma.ca/lymphoma/lymphoma-101/types-lymphoma/cll. Accessed February 2020.
iv Canadian Cancer Statistics. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia statistics. www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/leukemia-chronic-lymphocytic-cll/statistics/?region=on. Accessed February 2020.
v VENCLEXTA product monograph, AbbVie Corporation. Date of Preparation: September 27, 2016. Date of Revision: January 13, 2020. www.abbvie.ca/content/dam/abbviecorp/ca/en/docs/VENCLEXTA_PM_EN.pdf. Accessed February 2020.

SOURCE AbbVie Canada

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