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Components:
Bevacizumab
Method of action:
Medically reviewed by Kovalenko Svetlana Olegovna, PharmD. Last updated on 2020.02.22

Name of the medicinal product

Avastin

Qualitative and quantitative composition

Bevacizumab

Therapeutic indications

The information provided in Therapeutic indications of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Therapeutic indications in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Bevacizumab in combination with fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy is indicated for treatment of adult patients with metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum.

Bevacizumab in combination with paclitaxel is indicated for first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic breast cancer.

Bevacizumab in combination with capecitabine is indicated for first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic breast cancer in whom treatment with other chemotherapy options including taxanes or anthracyclines is not considered appropriate.

Bevacizumab, in addition to platinum-based chemotherapy, is indicated for first-line treatment of adult patients with unresectable advanced, metastatic or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer other than predominantly squamous cell histology.

Bevacizumab, in combination with erlotinib, is indicated for first-line treatment of adult patients with unresectable advanced, metastatic or recurrent non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer with Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) activating mutations.

Bevacizumab in combination with interferon alfa-2a is indicated for first line treatment of adult patients with advanced and/or metastatic renal cell cancer.

Bevacizumab, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel is indicated for the front-line treatment of adult patients with advanced (International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stages III B, III C and IV) epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer..

Bevacizumab, in combination with carboplatin and gemcitabine or in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, is indicated for treatment of adult patients with first recurrence of platinum-sensitive epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who have not received prior therapy with bevacizumab or other VEGF inhibitors or VEGF receptor-targeted agents.

Bevacizumab in combination with paclitaxel, topotecan, or pegylated liposomal doxorubicin is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with platinum-resistant recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who received no more than two prior chemotherapy regimens and who have not received prior therapy with bevacizumab or other VEGF inhibitors or VEGF receptor-targeted agents.

Bevacizumab, in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or, alternatively, paclitaxel and topotecan in patients who cannot receive platinum therapy, is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with persistent, recurrent, or metastatic carcinoma of the cervix.

Dosage (Posology) and method of administration

The information provided in Dosage (Posology) and method of administration of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Dosage (Posology) and method of administration in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Avastin must be administered under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of antineoplastic medicinal products.

Posology

Metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum (mCRC)

The recommended dose of Avastin, administered as an intravenous infusion, is either 5 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg of body weight given once every 2 weeks or 7.5 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg of body weight given once every 3 weeks.

It is recommended that treatment be continued until progression of the underlying disease or until unacceptable toxicity.

Metastatic breast cancer (mBC)

The recommended dose of Avastin is 10 mg/kg of body weight given once every 2 weeks or 15 mg/kg of body weight given once every 3 weeks as an intravenous infusion.

It is recommended that treatment be continued until progression of the underlying disease or until unacceptable toxicity.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

First-line treatment of non-squamous NSCLC in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy

Avastin is administered in addition to platinum-based chemotherapy for up to 6 cycles of treatment followed by Avastin as a single agent until disease progression.

The recommended dose of Avastin is 7.5 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg of body weight given once every 3 weeks as an intravenous infusion.

Clinical benefit in NSCLC patients has been demonstrated with both 7.5 mg/kg and 15 mg/kg doses.

It is recommended that treatment be continued until progression of the underlying disease or until unacceptable toxicity.

First-line treatment of non-squamous NSCLC with EGFR activating mutations in combination with erlotinib

EGFR mutation testing should be performed prior to initiation of treatment with the combination of Avastin and erlotinib. It is important that a well-validated and robust methodology is chosen to avoid false negative or false positive determinations.

The recommended dose of Avastin when used in addition to erlotinib is 15 mg/kg of body weight given once every 3 weeks as an intravenous infusion.

It is recommended that the treatment with Avastin in addition to erlotinib is continued until disease progression.

For the posology and method of administration of erlotinib, please refer to the full erlotinib prescribing information.

Advanced and/or metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC)

The recommended dose of Avastin is 10 mg/kg of body weight given once every 2 weeks as an intravenous infusion.

It is recommended that treatment be continued until progression of the underlying disease or until unacceptable toxicity.

Epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer

Front-line treatment: Avastin is administered in addition to carboplatin and paclitaxel for up to 6 cycles of treatment followed by continued use of Avastin as single agent until disease progression or for a maximum of 15 months or until unacceptable toxicity, whichever occurs earlier.

The recommended dose of Avastin is 15 mg/kg of body weight given once every 3 weeks as an intravenous infusion.

Treatment of platinum-sensitive recurrent disease: Avastin is administered in combination with either carboplatin and gemcitabine for 6 cycles and up to 10 cycles or in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel for 6 cycles and up to 8 cycles, followed by continued use of Avastin as single agent until disease progression. The recommended dose of Avastin is 15 mg/kg of body weight given once every 3 weeks as an intravenous infusion.

Treatment of platinum-resistant recurrent disease: Avastin is administered in combination with one of the following agents - paclitaxel, topotecan (given weekly) or pegylated liposomal doxorubicin. The recommended dose of Avastin is 10 mg/kg of body weight given once every 2 weeks as an intravenous infusion. When Avastin is administered in combination with topotecan (given on days 1-5, every 3 weeks), the recommended dose of Avastin is 15 mg/kg of body weight given once every 3 weeks as an intravenous infusion. It is recommended that treatment be continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Cervical Cancer

Avastin is administered in combination with one of the following chemotherapy regimens: paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan.

The recommended dose of Avastin is 15 mg/kg of body weight given once every 3 weeks as an intravenous infusion.

It is recommended that treatment be continued until progression of the underlying disease or until unacceptable toxicity.

Special populations

Elderly patients: No dose adjustment is required in the elderly.

Patients with renal impairment: The safety and efficacy have not been studied in patients with renal impairment.

Patients with hepatic impairment: The safety and efficacy have not been studied in patients with hepatic impairment.

Paediatric population

The safety and efficacy of bevacizumab in children less than 18 years old have not been established.1 and 5.2 but no recommendation on a posology can be made.

There is no relevant use of bevacizumab in the paediatric population in the indications for treatment of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, lung, ovarian, fallopian tube, peritoneum, cervix and kidney.

Method of administration

The initial dose should be delivered over 90 minutes as an intravenous infusion. If the first infusion is well tolerated, the second infusion may be administered over 60 minutes. If the 60-minute infusion is well tolerated, all subsequent infusions may be administered over 30 minutes.

It should not be administered as an intravenous push or bolus.

Dose reduction for adverse reactions is not recommended.

Precautions to be taken before handling or administering the medicinal product

Contraindications

The information provided in Contraindications of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Contraindications in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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- Hypersensitivity to Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell products or other recombinant human or humanised antibodies.

- Pregnancy.

Special warnings and precautions for use

The information provided in Special warnings and precautions for use of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Special warnings and precautions for use in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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In order to improve the traceability of biological medicinal products, the trade name and the batch number of the administered product should be clearly recorded (or stated) in the patient file.

Gastrointestinal (GI) perforations and Fistulae

Patients may be at an increased risk for the development of gastrointestinal perforation and gall bladder perforation when treated with Avastin. Intra-abdominal inflammatory process may be a risk factor for gastrointestinal perforations in patients with metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum, therefore, caution should be exercised when treating these patients. Prior radiation is a risk factor for GI perforation in patients treated for persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer with Avastin and all patients with GI perforation had a history of prior radiation. Therapy should be permanently discontinued in patients who develop gastrointestinal perforation.

GI-vaginal Fistulae in study GOG-0240

Patients treated for persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer with Avastin are at increased risk of fistulae between the vagina and any part of the GI tract (Gastrointestinal-vaginal fistulae). Prior radiation is a major risk factor for the development of GI-vaginal fistulae and all patients with GI-vaginal fistulae had a history of prior radiation. Recurrence of cancer within the field of prior radiation is an additional important risk factor for the development of GI-vaginal fistulae.

Non-GI Fistulae

Patients may be at increased risk for the development of fistulae when treated with Avastin.

Permanently discontinue Avastin in patients with tracheoesophageal (TE) fistula or any Grade 4 fistula [US National Cancer Institute-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI-CTCAE v.3)]. Limited information is available on the continued use of Avastin in patients with other fistulae.

In cases of internal fistula not arising in the gastrointestinal tract, discontinuation of Avastin should be considered.

Wound healing complications

Avastin may adversely affect the wound healing process. Serious wound healing complications, including anastomotic complications, with a fatal outcome have been reported. Therapy should not be initiated for at least 28 days following major surgery or until the surgical wound is fully healed. In patients who experienced wound healing complications during therapy, treatment should be withheld until the wound is fully healed. Therapy should be withheld for elective surgery.

Necrotising fasciitis, including fatal cases, has rarely been reported in patients treated with Avastin. This condition is usually secondary to wound healing complications, gastrointestinal perforation or fistula formation. Avastin therapy should be discontinued in patients who develop necrotising fasciitis, and appropriate treatment should be promptly initiated.

Hypertension

An increased incidence of hypertension was observed in Avastin-treated patients. Clinical safety data suggest that the incidence of hypertension is likely to be dose-dependent. Pre-existing hypertension should be adequately controlled before starting Avastin treatment. There is no information on the effect of Avastin in patients with uncontrolled hypertension at the time of initiating therapy. Monitoring of blood pressure is generally recommended during therapy.

In most cases hypertension was controlled adequately using standard antihypertensive treatment appropriate for the individual situation of the affected patient. The use of diuretics to manage hypertension is not advised in patients who receive a cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimen. Avastin should be permanently discontinued if medically significant hypertension cannot be adequately controlled with antihypertensive therapy, or if the patient develops hypertensive crisis or hypertensive encephalopathy.

Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES)

There have been rare reports of Avastin-treated patients developing signs and symptoms that are consistent with PRES, a rare neurologic disorder, which can present with the following signs and symptoms among others: seizures, headache, altered mental status, visual disturbance, or cortical blindness, with or without associated hypertension. A diagnosis of PRES requires confirmation by brain imaging, preferably magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In patients developing PRES, treatment of specific symptoms including control of hypertension is recommended along with discontinuation of Avastin. The safety of reinitiating Avastin therapy in patients previously experiencing PRES is not known.

Proteinuria

Patients with a history of hypertension may be at increased risk for the development of proteinuria when treated with Avastin. There is evidence suggesting that all Grade (US National Cancer Institute-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events [NCI-CTCAE v.3]) proteinuria may be related to the dose. Monitoring of proteinuria by dipstick urinalysis is recommended prior to starting and during therapy. Grade 4 proteinuria (nephrotic syndrome) was seen in up to 1.4% of patients treated with Avastin. Therapy should be permanently discontinued in patients who develop nephrotic syndrome (NCI-CTCAE v.3).

Arterial thromboembolism

In clinical trials, the incidence of arterial thromboembolic reactions including cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs), transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) and myocardial infarctions (MIs) was higher in patients receiving Avastin in combination with chemotherapy compared to those who received chemotherapy alone.

Patients receiving Avastin plus chemotherapy, with a history of arterial thromboembolism, diabetes or age greater than 65 years have an increased risk of developing arterial thromboembolic reactions during therapy. Caution should be taken when treating these patients with Avastin.

Therapy should be permanently discontinued in patients who develop arterial thromboembolic reactions.

Venous thromboembolism

Patients may be at risk of developing venous thromboembolic reactions, including pulmonary embolism under Avastin treatment.

Patients treated for persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer with Avastin in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin may be at increased risk of venous thromboembolic events.

Avastin should be discontinued in patients with life-threatening (Grade 4) thromboembolic reactions, including pulmonary embolism (NCI-CTCAE v.3). Patients with thromboembolic reactions ≤ Grade 3 need to be closely monitored (NCI-CTCAE v.3).

Haemorrhage

Patients treated with Avastin have an increased risk of haemorrhage, especially tumour-associated haemorrhage. Avastin should be discontinued permanently in patients who experience Grade 3 or 4 bleeding during Avastin therapy (NCI-CTCAE v.3).

Patients with untreated CNS metastases were routinely excluded from clinical trials with Avastin, based on imaging procedures or signs and symptoms. Therefore, the risk of CNS haemorrhage in such patients has not been prospectively evaluated in randomised clinical trials. Patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of CNS bleeding, and Avastin treatment discontinued in cases of intracranial bleeding.

There is no information on the safety profile of Avastin in patients with congenital bleeding diathesis, acquired coagulopathy or in patients receiving full dose of anticoagulants for the treatment of thromboembolism prior to starting Avastin treatment, as such patients were excluded from clinical trials. Therefore, caution should be exercised before initiating therapy in these patients. However, patients who developed venous thrombosis while receiving therapy did not appear to have an increased rate of Grade 3 or above bleeding when treated with a full dose of warfarin and Avastin concomitantly (NCI-CTCAE v.3).

Pulmonary haemorrhage/haemoptysis

Patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with Avastin may be at risk of serious, and in some cases fatal, pulmonary haemorrhage/haemoptysis. Patients with recent pulmonary haemorrhage/ haemoptysis (> 2.5 ml of red blood) should not be treated with Avastin.

Congestive heart failure (CHF)

Reactions consistent with CHF were reported in clinical trials. The findings ranged from asymptomatic declines in left ventricular ejection fraction to symptomatic CHF, requiring treatment or hospitalisation. Caution should be exercised when treating patients with clinically significant cardiovascular disease such as pre-existing coronary artery disease, or congestive heart failure with Avastin.

Most of the patients who experienced CHF had metastatic breast cancer and had received previous treatment with anthracyclines, prior radiotherapy to the left chest wall or other risk factors for CHF were present.

In patients in AVF3694g who received treatment with anthracyclines and who had not received anthracyclines before, no increased incidence of all Grade CHF was observed in the anthracycline + bevacizumab group compared to the treatment with anthracyclines only. CHF Grade 3 or higher reactions were somewhat more frequent among patients receiving bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy than in patients receiving chemotherapy alone. This is consistent with results in patients in other studies of metastatic breast cancer who did not receive concurrent anthracycline treatment (NCI-CTCAE v.3).

Neutropenia and infections

Increased rates of severe neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, or infection with or without severe neutropenia (including some fatalities) have been observed in patients treated with some myelotoxic chemotherapy regimens plus Avastin in comparison to chemotherapy alone. This has mainly been seen in combination with platinum- or taxane-based therapies in the treatment of NSCLC, mBC, and in combination with paclitaxel and topotecan in persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer.

Hypersensitivity reactions/infusion reactions

Patients may be at risk of developing infusion/hypersensitivity reactions. Close observation of the patient during and following the administration of bevacizumab is recommended as expected for any infusion of a therapeutic humanised monoclonal antibody. If a reaction occurs, the infusion should be discontinued and appropriate medical therapies should be administered. A systematic premedication is not warranted.

Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ)

Cases of ONJ have been reported in cancer patients treated with Avastin, the majority of whom had received prior or concomitant treatment with intravenous bisphosphonates, for which ONJ is an identified risk. Caution should be exercised when Avastin and intravenous bisphosphonates are administered simultaneously or sequentially.

Invasive dental procedures are also an identified risk factor. A dental examination and appropriate preventive dentistry should be considered prior to starting the treatment with Avastin. In patients who have previously received or are receiving intravenous bisphosphonates invasive dental procedures should be avoided, if possible.

Intravitreal use

Avastin is not formulated for intravitreal use.

Eye disorders

Individual cases and clusters of serious ocular adverse reactions have been reported following unapproved intravitreal use of Avastin compounded from vials approved for intravenous administration in cancer patients. These reactions included infectious endophthalmitis, intraocular inflammation such as sterile endophthalmitis, uveitis and vitritis, retinal detachment, retinal pigment epithelial tear, intraocular pressure increased, intraocular haemorrhage such as vitreous haemorrhage or retinal haemorrhage and conjunctival haemorrhage. Some of these reactions have resulted in various degrees of visual loss, including permanent blindness.

Systemic effects following intravitreal use

A reduction of circulating VEGF concentration has been demonstrated following intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy. Systemic adverse reactions including non-ocular haemorrhages and arterial thromboembolic reactions have been reported following intravitreal injection of VEGF inhibitors.

Ovarian failure/fertility

Avastin may impair female fertility. Therefore fertility preservation strategies should be discussed with women of child-bearing potential prior to starting treatment with Avastin.

Effects on ability to drive and use machines

The information provided in Effects on ability to drive and use machines of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Effects on ability to drive and use machines in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Avastin has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines.). If patients are experiencing symptoms that affect their vision or concentration, or their ability to react, they should be advised not to drive and use machines until symptoms abate.

Undesirable effects

The information provided in Undesirable effects of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Undesirable effects in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Summary of the safety profile

The overall safety profile of Avastin is based on data from over 5,700 patients with various malignancies, predominantly treated with Avastin in combination with chemotherapy in clinical trials.

The most serious adverse reactions were:

- Gastrointestinal perforations.

- Haemorrhage, including pulmonary haemorrhage/haemoptysis, which is more common in non- small cell lung cancer patients.

- Arterial thromboembolism.

The most frequently observed adverse reactions across clinical trials in patients receiving Avastin were hypertension, fatigue or asthenia, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Analyses of the clinical safety data suggest that the occurrence of hypertension and proteinuria with Avastin therapy are likely to be dose-dependent.

Tabulated list of adverse reactions

The adverse reactions listed in this section fall into the following frequency categories: Very common (>1/10); common (>1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (>1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (>1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000); not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).

Tables 1 and 2 list adverse reactions associated with the use of Avastin in combination with different chemotherapy regimens in multiple indications.

Table 1 provides all adverse reactions by frequency that were determined to have a causal relationship with Avastin through:

- comparative incidences noted between clinical trial treatment arms (with at least a 10% difference compared to the control arm for NCI-CTCAE Grade 1-5 reactions or at least a 2% difference compared to the control arm for NCI-CTCAE Grade 3-5 reactions,

- post-authorisation safety studies,

- spontaneous reporting,

- epidemiological studies\non-interventional or observational studies,

- or through an evaluation of individual case reports.

Table 2 provides the frequency of severe adverse reactions. Severe reactions are defined as adverse events with at least a 2% difference compared to the control arm in clinical studies for NCI-CTCAE Grade 3-5 reactions. Table 2 also includes adverse reactions which are considered by the MAH to be clinically significant or severe.

Post-marketing adverse reactions are included in both Tables 1 and 2, where applicable. Detailed information about these post-marketing reactions are provided in Table 3.

Adverse reactions are added to the appropriate frequency category in the tables below according to the highest incidence seen in any indication.

Within each frequency category, adverse reactions are presented in the order of decreasing seriousness.

Some of the adverse reactions are reactions commonly seen with chemotherapy; however, Avastin may exacerbate these reactions when combined with chemotherapeutic agents. Examples include palmar-plantar erythrodysaesthesia syndrome with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin or capecitabine, peripheral sensory neuropathy with paclitaxel or oxaliplatin, nail disorders or alopecia with paclitaxel, and paronychia with erlotinib.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions by Frequency

System organ class

Very Common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very Rare

Frequency Not Known

Infections and infestations

Sepsis,

Abscessb,d,

Cellulitis,

Infection,

Urinary tract infection

Necrotising fasciitis a

Blood and lymphatic system disorders

Febrile neutropenia,

Leucopenia,

Neutropeniab,

Thrombo-cytopenia

Anaemia,

Lymphopenia

Immune system disorders

Hypersensitivity, infusion reactionsa,b,d

Metabolism and nutrition disorders

Anorexia

Hypomagnesaemia

Hyponatraemia

Dehydration

Nervous system disorders

Peripheral sensory neuropathyb,

Dysarthria,

Headache,

Dysguesia

Cerebrovascular accident,

Syncope,

Somnolence

Posterior reversible encephalo-pathy syndrome a,b,d

Hypertensive encephalo-pathya

Eye disorders

Eye disorder,

Lacrimation increased

Cardiac disorders

Congestive heart failureb,d,

Supraventricular tachycardia

Vascular disorders

Hypertensionb,d,

Thrombo-embolism (venous)b,d

Thrombo-embolism (arterial)b,d,

Haemorrhageb,d,

Deep vein thrombosis

Renal thrombotic microangiopathya,b

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders

Dyspnoea,

Rhinitis

Epistaxis

Cough

Pulmonary haemorrhage/ Haemoptysisb,d,

Pulmonary embolism,

Hypoxia,

Dysphoniaa

Pulmonary hypertensiona,

Nasal septum perforationa

Gastrointestinal disorders

Rectal haemorrhage,

Stomatitis,

Constipation,

Diarrhoea,

Nausea,

Vomiting,

Abdominal pain

Gastrointestinal perforationb,d,

Intestinal perforation,

Ileus,

Intestinal obstruction,

Recto-vaginal fistulaed,e,

Gastrointestinal Disorder,

Proctalgia

Gastrointestinal ulcera

Hepatobiliary disorders

Gallbladder perforationa,b

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Wound healing complicationsb,d,

Exfoliative dermatitis,

Dry skin,

Skin discoloration

Palmar-plantar erythro-dysaesthesia syndrome

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Arthralgia

Myalgia

Fistulab,d,

Muscular weakness,

Back pain

Osteonecrosis of the jawa,b

Non-mandibular osteonecrosisa,f

Renal and urinary disorders

Proteinuriab,d

Reproductive system and breast disorders

Ovarian failureb,c,d

Pelvic Pain

Congenital, familial, and genetic disorder

Foetal abnormalitiesa,b

General disorders and administration site conditions

Asthenia,

Fatigue,

Pyrexia,

Pain,

Mucosal inflammation

Lethargy

Investigations

Weight decreased

When events were noted as both all grade and grade 3-5 adverse drug reactions in clinical trials, the highest frequency observed in patients has been reported. Data are unadjusted for the differential time on treatment.

a For further information please refer to Table 3 'Adverse reactions reported in post-marketing setting.'

b Terms represent a group of events that describe a medical concept rather than a single condition or MedDRA (Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities) preferred term. This group of medical terms may involve the same underlying pathophysiology (e.g. arterial thromboembolic reactions include cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, transient ischaemic attack and other arterial thromboembolic reactions).

c Based on a substudy from NSABP C-08 with 295 patients

d For additional information refer below within section "Further information on selected serious adverse reactions."

e Recto-vaginal fistulae are the most common fistulae in the GI-vaginal fistula category.

f Observed in pediatric population only

Table 2: Severe Adverse Reactions by Frequency

System organ class

Very Common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very Rare

Frequency Not Known

Infections and infestations

Sepsis,

Cellulitis,

Abscessa,b,

Infection,

Urinary tract infection

Necrotising fasciitisc

Blood and lymphatic system disorders

Febrile neutropenia,

Leucopenia,

Neutropeniaa,

Thrombo-cytopenia

Anaemia,

Lymphopenia

Immune system disorders

Hypersensitivity, infusion reactions a,b,c

Metabolism and nutrition disorders

Dehydration

Hyponatraemia

Nervous system disorders

Peripheral sensory neuropathya

Cerebrovascular accident,

Syncope,

Somnolence,

Headache

Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome a,b,c,

Hypertensive encephalopathyc

Cardiac disorders

Congestive heart failurea,b,

Supraventricular tachycardia

Vascular disorders

Hypertensiona,b

Thromboembolism arteriala,b,

Haemorrhagea,b,

Thromboembolism (venous)a,b

Deep vein thrombosis

Renal thrombotic microangiopathyb,c

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders

Pulmonary haemorrhage/ Haemoptysisa,b,

Pulmonary embolism,

Epistaxis,

Dyspnoea,

Hypoxia

Pulmonary hypertensionc,

Nasal septum perforationc

Gastrointestinal disorders

Diarrhoea,

Nausea,

Vomiting,

Abdominal pain

Intestinal perforation,

Ileus,

Intestinal obstruction,

Recto-vaginal fistulaec,d,

Gastrointestinal disorder,

Stomatitis,

Proctalgia

Gastrointestinal perforationa,b,

Gastrointestinal ulcerc,

Rectal haemorrhage

Hepatobiliary disorders

Gallbladder perforation b,c

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Wound healing complicationsa,b,

Palmar-plantar erythrodysaesthesia syndrome

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Fistulaa,b,

Myalgia,

Arthralgia,

Muscular weakness,

Back Pain

Osteonecrosis of the jawb,c

Renal and urinary disorders

Proteinuriaa,b

Reproductive system and breast disorders

Pelvic pain

Ovarian failurea,b

Congenital, familial, and genetic disorder

Foetal abnormalitiesa,c

General disorders and administration site conditions

Asthenia,

Fatigue,

Pain,

Lethargy,

Mucosal Inflammation

Table 2 provides the frequency of severe adverse reactions. Severe reactions are defined as adverse events with at least a 2% difference compared to the control arm in clinical studies for NCI-CTCAE Grade 3-5 reactions. Table 2 also includes adverse reactions which are considered by the MAH to be clinically significant or severe. These clinically significant adverse reactions were reported in clinical trials but the grade 3-5 reactions did not meet the threshold of at least a 2% difference compared to the control arm. Table 2 also includes clinically significant adverse reactions that were observed only in the postmarketing setting, therefore, the frequency and NCI-CTCAE grade is not known. These clinically significant reactions have therefore been included in Table 2 within the column entitled “Frequency Not Known.”

a Terms represent a group of events that describe a medical concept rather than a single condition or MedDRA (Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities) preferred term. This group of medical terms may involve the same underlying pathophysiology (e.g. arterial thromboembolic reactions include cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, transient ischaemic attack and other arterial thromboembolic reactions).

b For additional information refer below within section "Further information on selected serious adverse reactions"

c For further information please refer to Table 3 'Adverse reactions reported in post-marketing setting.'

d Recto-vaginal fistulae are the most common fistulae in the GI-vaginal fistula category.

Description of selected serious adverse reactions

Gastrointestinal (GI) perforations and Fistulae

Avastin has been associated with serious cases of gastrointestinal perforation.

Gastrointestinal perforations have been reported in clinical trials with an incidence of less than 1% in patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, up to 1.3% in patients with metastatic breast cancer, up to 2.0% in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer or in patients with ovarian cancer, and up to 2.7% (including gastrointestinal fistula and abscess) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. From a clinical trial in patients with persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer (study GOG-0240), GI perforations (all grade) were reported in 3.2% of patients, all of whom had a history of prior pelvic radiation.

The occurrence of those events varied in type and severity, ranging from free air seen on the plain abdominal X-ray, which resolved without treatment, to intestinal perforation with abdominal abscess and fatal outcome. In some cases underlying intra-abdominal inflammation was present, either from gastric ulcer disease, tumour necrosis, diverticulitis, or chemotherapy-associated colitis.

Fatal outcome was reported in approximately a third of serious cases of gastrointestinal perforations, which represents between 0.2%-1% of all Avastin treated patients.

In Avastin clinical trials, gastrointestinal fistulae (all grade) have been reported with an incidence of up to 2% in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer, but were also reported less commonly in patients with other types of cancer.

GI-vaginal Fistulae in study GOG-0240

In a trial of patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer, the incidence of GI-vaginal fistulae was 8.3% in Avastin-treated patients and 0.9% in control patients, all of whom had a history of prior pelvic radiation. The frequency of GI-vaginal fistulae in the group treated with Avastin + chemotherapy was higher in patients with recurrence within the field of prior radiation (16.7%) compared with patients with no prior radiation and/ or no recurrence inside the field of prior radiation (3.6%). The corresponding frequencies in the control group receiving chemotherapy alone were 1.1% vs. 0.8%, respectively. Patients who develop GI-vaginal fistulae may also have bowel obstructions and require surgical intervention as well as diverting ostomies.

Non-GI Fistulae

Avastin use has been associated with serious cases of fistulae including reactions resulting in death.

From a clinical trial in patients with persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer (GOG-240), 1.8% of Avastin-treated patients and 1.4% of control patients were reported to have had non-gastrointestinal vaginal, vesical, or female genital tract fistulae.

Uncommon (> 0.1% to < 1%) reports of fistulae that involve areas of the body other than the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. bronchopleural and biliary fistulae) were observed across various indications. Fistulae have also been reported in post-marketing experience.

Reactions were reported at various time points during treatment ranging from one week to greater than 1 year from initiation of Avastin, with most reactions occurring within the first 6 months of therapy.

Wound healing

As Avastin may adversely impact wound healing, patients who had major surgery within the last 28 days were excluded from participation in phase III clinical trials.

In clinical trials of metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum, there was no increased risk of post-operative bleeding or wound healing complications observed in patients who underwent major surgery 28-60 days prior to starting Avastin. An increased incidence of post-operative bleeding or wound healing complication occurring within 60 days of major surgery was observed if the patient was being treated with Avastin at the time of surgery. The incidence varied between 10% (4/40) and 20% (3/15).

Serious wound healing complications, including anastomotic complications, have been reported, some of which had a fatal outcome.

In locally recurrent and metastatic breast cancer trials, Grade 3-5 wound healing complications were observed in up to 1.1% of patients receiving Avastin compared with up to 0.9% of patients in the control arms (NCI-CTCAE v.3).

In clinical trials of ovarian cancer, Grade 3-5 wound healing complications were observed in up to 1.8% of patients in the bevacizumab arm versus 0.1% in the control arm (NCI-CTCAE v.3).

Hypertension

In clinical trials, with the exception of study JO25567, the overall incidence of hypertension (all grades) ranged up to 42.1% in the Avastin containing arms compared with up to 14% in the control arms. The overall incidence of NCI-CTC Grade 3 and 4 hypertension in patients receiving Avastin ranged from 0.4% to 17.9%. Grade 4 hypertension (hypertensive crisis) occurred in up to 1.0% of patients treated with Avastin and chemotherapy compared to up to 0.2% of patients treated with the same chemotherapy alone.

In study JO25567, all grade hypertension was observed in 77.3% of the patients who received Avastin in combination with erlotinib as first-line treatment for non-squamous NSCLC with EGFR activating mutations, compared to 14.3% of patients treated with erlotinib alone. Grade 3 hypertension was 60.0% in patients treated with Avastin in combination with erlotinib compared to 11.7% in patients treated with erlotinib alone. There were no grade 4 or 5 hypertension events.

Hypertension was generally adequately controlled with oral anti-hypertensives such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, diuretics and calcium-channel blockers. It rarely resulted in discontinuation of Avastin treatment or hospitalisation.

Very rare cases of hypertensive encephalopathy have been reported, some of which were fatal.

The risk of Avastin-associated hypertension did not correlate with the patients' baseline characteristics, underlying disease or concomitant therapy.

Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome

There have been rare reports of Avastin-treated patients developing signs and symptoms that are consistent with PRES, a rare neurological disorder. Presentation may include seizures, headache, altered mental status, visual disturbance, or cortical blindness, with or without associated hypertension. The clinical presentation of PRES is often nonspecific, and therefore the diagnosis of PRES requires confirmation by brain imaging, preferably MRI.

In patients developing PRES, early recognition of symptoms with prompt treatment of specific symptoms including control of hypertension (if associated with severe uncontrolled hypertension) is recommended in addition to discontinuation of bevacizumab therapy. Symptoms usually resolve or improve within days after treatment discontinuation, although some patients have experienced some neurologic sequelae. The safety of reinitiating Avastin therapy in patients previously experiencing PRES is not known.

Across clinical trials, 8 cases of PRES have been reported. Two of the eight cases did not have radiological confirmation via MRI.

Proteinuria

In clinical trials, proteinuria has been reported within the range of 0.7% to 54.7% of patients receiving Avastin.

Proteinuria ranged in severity from clinically asymptomatic, transient, trace proteinuria to nephrotic syndrome, with the great majority as Grade 1 proteinuria (NCI-CTCAE v.3). Grade 3 proteinuria was reported in up to 10.9% of treated patients. Grade 4 proteinuria (nephrotic syndrome) was seen in up to 1.4% of treated patients. Testing for proteinuria is recommended prior to start of Avastin therapy. In most clinical trials urine protein levels of > 2g/24 hrs led to the holding of Avastin until recovery to < 2g/24 hrs.

Haemorrhage

In clinical trials across all indications the overall incidence of NCI-CTCAE v.3 Grade 3-5 bleeding reactions ranged from 0.4% to 6.9% in Avastin treated patients, compared with up to 4.5% of patients in the chemotherapy control group.

From a clinical trial in patients with persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer (study GOG-0240), grade 3-5 bleeding reactions have been reported in up to 8.3% of patients treated with Avastin in combination with paclitaxel and topotecan compared with up to 4.6% of patients treated with paclitaxel and topotecan.

The haemorrhagic reactions that have been observed in clinical trials were predominantly tumour-associated haemorrhage (see below) and minor mucocutaneous haemorrhage (e.g. epistaxis).

Tumour-associated haemorrhage

Major or massive pulmonary haemorrhage/haemoptysis has been observed primarily in trials in patients with non-small cel

Overdose

The information provided in Overdose of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Overdose in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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The highest dose tested in humans (20 mg/kg of body weight, intravenous every 2 weeks) was associated with severe migraine in several patients.

Pharmacodynamic properties

The information provided in Pharmacodynamic properties of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacodynamic properties in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Pharmacotherapeutic group: antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents, antineoplastic agents, other antineoplastic agents, monoclonal antibodies, ATC code: L01X C07

Mechanism of action

Bevacizumab binds to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the key driver of vasculogenesis and angiogenesis, and thereby inhibits the binding of VEGF to its receptors, Flt-1 (VEGFR-1) and KDR (VEGFR-2), on the surface of endothelial cells. Neutralising the biological activity of VEGF regresses the vascularisation of tumours, normalises remaining tumour vasculature, and inhibits the formation of new tumour vasculature, thereby inhibiting tumour growth.

Pharmacodynamic effects

Administration of bevacizumab or its parental murine antibody to xenotransplant models of cancer in nude mice resulted in extensive anti-tumour activity in human cancers, including colon, breast, pancreas and prostate. Metastatic disease progression was inhibited and microvascular permeability was reduced.

Clinical efficacy

Metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum (mCRC)

The safety and efficacy of the recommended dose (5 mg/kg of body weight every two weeks) in metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum were studied in three randomised, active-controlled clinical trials in combination with fluoropyrimidine-based first-line chemotherapy. Avastin was combined with two chemotherapy regimens:

- AVF2107g: A weekly schedule of irinotecan/bolus 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid (IFL) for a total of 4 weeks of each 6 week-cycle (Saltz regimen).

- AVF0780g: In combination with bolus 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid (5-FU/FA) for a total of 6 weeks of each 8 week-cycle (Roswell Park regimen).

- AVF2192g: In combination with bolus 5-FU/FA for a total of 6 weeks of each 8 week-cycle (Roswell Park regimen) in patients who were not optimal candidates for first-line irinotecan treatment.

Three additional studies with bevacizumab have been conducted in mCRC patients: first-line (NO16966), second-line with no previous bevacizumab treatment (E3200), and second-line with previous bevacizumab treatment following disease progression in first-line (ML18147). In these studies, bevacizumab was administered at the following dosing regimens in combination with FOLFOX-4 (5-FU/LV/oxaliplatin), XELOX (capecitabine/oxaliplatin), and fluoropyrimidine/irinotecan and fluoropyrimidine/oxaliplatin:

- NO16966: Avastin 7.5 mg/kg of body weight every 3 weeks in combination with oral capecitabine and intravenous oxaliplatin (XELOX) or Avastin 5 mg/kg every 2 weeks in combination with leucovorin plus 5-fluorouracil bolus, followed by 5-fluorouracil infusion, with intravenous oxaliplatin (FOLFOX-4).

- E3200: Avastin 10 mg/kg of body weight every 2 weeks in combination with leucovorin and 5-fluorouracil bolus, followed by 5-fluorouracil infusion, with intravenous oxaliplatin (FOLFOX-4) in bevacizumab-naïve patients.

- ML18147: Avastin 5.0 mg/kg of body weight every 2 weeks or Avastin 7.5 mg/kg of body weight every 3 weeks in combination with fluoropyrimidine/irinotecan or fluoropyrimidine/oxaliplatin in patients with disease progression following first-line treatment with bevacizumab. Use of irinotecan- or oxaliplatin-containing regimen was switched depending on first-line usage of either oxaliplatin or irinotecan.

AVF2107g

This was a phase III randomised, double-blind, active-controlled clinical trial evaluating Avastin in combination with IFL as first-line treatment for metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum. Eight hundred and thirteen patients were randomised to receive IFL + placebo (Arm 1) or IFL + Avastin (5 mg/kg every 2 weeks, Arm 2). A third group of 110 patients received bolus 5-FU/FA + Avastin (Arm 3). Enrolment in Arm 3 was discontinued, as pre-specified, once safety of Avastin with the IFL regimen was established and considered acceptable. All treatments were continued until disease progression. The overall mean age was 59.4 years; 56.6% of patients had an ECOG performance status of 0, 43% had a value of 1 and 0.4% had a value of 2. 15.5% had received prior radiotherapy and 28.4% prior chemotherapy.

The primary efficacy variable of the trial was overall survival. The addition of Avastin to IFL resulted in statistically significant increases in overall survival, progression-free survival and overall response rate (see Table 4). The clinical benefit, as measured by overall survival, was seen in all pre-specified patient subgroups, including those defined by age, sex, performance status, location of primary tumour, number of organs involved and duration of metastatic disease.

The efficacy results of Avastin in combination with IFL-chemotherapy are displayed in Table 4.

Table 4 Efficacy results for trial AVF2107g

AVF2107g

Arm 1

IFL + placebo

Arm 2

IFL + Avastina

Number of patients

411

402

Overall survival

Median time (months)

15.6

20.3

95% CI

14.29 - 16.99

18.46 - 24.18

Hazard ratiob

0.660

(p-value = 0.00004)

Progression-free survival

Median time (months)

6.2

10.6

Hazard ratio

0.54

(p-value < 0.0001)

Overall response rate

Rate (%)

34.8

44.8

(p-value = 0.0036)

a 5 mg/kg every 2 weeks.

b Relative to control arm.

Among the 110 patients randomised to Arm 3 (5-FU/FA + Avastin) prior to discontinuation of this arm, the median overall survival was 18.3 months and the median progression free survival was 8.8 months.

AVF2192g

This was a phase II randomised, double-blind, active-controlled clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of Avastin in combination with 5-FU/FA as first-line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer in patients who were not optimal candidates for first-line irinotecan treatment. One hundred and five patients were randomised to 5-FU/FA + placebo arm and 104 patients to 5-FU/FA + Avastin (5 mg/kg every 2 weeks) arm. All treatments were continued until disease progression. The addition of Avastin 5 mg/kg every two weeks to 5-FU/FA resulted in higher objective response rates, significantly longer progression-free survival, and a trend in longer survival as compared to 5-FU/FA chemotherapy alone.

AVF0780g

This was a phase II randomised, active-controlled, open-labelled clinical trial investigating Avastin in combination with 5-FU/FA as first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. The median age was 64 years. 19% of the patients had received prior chemotherapy and 14% prior radiotherapy. Seventy-one patients were randomised to receive bolus 5-FU/FA or 5-FU/FA + Avastin (5 mg/kg every 2 weeks). A third group of 33 patients received bolus 5-FU/FA + Avastin (10 mg/kg every 2 weeks). Patients were treated until disease progression. The primary endpoints of the trial were objective response rate and progression-free survival. The addition of Avastin 5 mg/kg every two weeks to 5-FU/FA resulted in higher objective response rates, longer progression-free survival, and a trend in longer survival, compared with 5-FU/FA chemotherapy alone (see Table 5). These efficacy data are consistent with the results from trial AVF2107g.

The efficacy data from trials AVF0780g and AVF2192g investigating Avastin in combination with 5-FU/FA-chemotherapy are summarised in Table 5.

Table 5 Efficacy results for trials AVF0780g and AVF2192g

AVF0780g

AVF2192g

5-FU/FA

5-FU/FA + Avastina

5-FU/FA + Avastinb

5-FU/FA + placebo

5-FU/FA + Avastin

Number of patients

36

35

33

105

104

Overall survival

Median time (months)

13.6

17.7

15.2

12.9

16.6

95% CI

10.35 - 16.95

13.63 - 19.32

Hazard ratioc

-

0.52

1.01

0.79

p-value

0.073

0.978

0.16

Progression-free survival

Median time (months)

5.2

9.0

7.2

5.5

9.2

Hazard ratio

0.44

0.69

0.5

p-value

-

0.0049

0.217

0.0002

Overall response rate

Rate (percent)

16.7

40.0

24.2

15.2

26

95% CI

7.0 - 33.5

24.4 - 57.8

11.7 - 42.6

9.2 - 23.9

18.1 - 35.6

p-value

0.029

0.43

0.055

Duration of response

Median time (months)

NR

9.3

5.0

6.8

9.2

25-75 percentile (months)

5.5 - NR

6.1 - NR

3.8 - 7.8

5.59 - 9.17

5.88 - 13.01

a 5 mg/kg every 2 weeks.

b 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks.

c Relative to control arm.

NR = not reached.

NO16966

This was a phase III randomised, double-blind (for bevacizumab), clinical trial investigating Avastin 7.5 mg/kg in combination with oral capecitabine and IV oxaliplatin (XELOX), administered on a 3-weekly schedule; or Avastin 5 mg/kg in combination with leucovorin with 5-fluorouracil bolus, followed by 5-fluorouracil infusional, with IV oxaliplatin (FOLFOX-4), administered on a 2-weekly schedule. The trial contained two parts: an initial unblinded 2-arm part (Part I) in which patients were randomised to two different treatment groups (XELOX and FOLFOX-4) and a subsequent 2 x 2 factorial 4-arm part (Part II) in which patients were randomised to four treatment groups (XELOX + placebo, FOLFOX-4 + placebo, XELOX + Avastin, FOLFOX-4 + Avastin). In Part II, treatment assignment was double-blind with respect to Avastin.

Approximately 350 patients were randomised into each of the 4 trial arms in the Part II of the trial.

Table 6 Treatment regimens in trial NO16966 (mCRC)

Treatment

Starting dose

Schedule

FOLFOX-4

or

FOLFOX-4 + Avastin

Oxaliplatin

85 mg/m2 IV 2 h

Oxaliplatin on day 1

Leucovorin on day 1 and 2

5-fluorouracil IV bolus/infusion, each on days 1 and 2

Leucovorin

200 mg/m2 IV 2 h

5-Fluorouracil

400 mg/m2 IV bolus, 600 mg/m2 IV 22 h

Placebo or Avastin

5 mg/kg IV 30-90 min

Day 1, prior to FOLFOX-4, every 2 weeks

XELOX

or

XELOX + Avastin

Oxaliplatin

130 mg/m2 IV 2 h

Oxaliplatin on day 1

Capecitabine oral bid for 2 weeks (followed by 1 week off treatment)

Capecitabine

1000 mg/m2 oral bid

Placebo or Avastin

7.5 mg/kg IV 30-90 min

Day 1, prior to XELOX, q 3 weeks

5-Fluorouracil: IV bolus injection immediately after leucovorin

The primary efficacy parameter of the trial was the duration of progression-free survival. In this trial, there were two primary objectives: to show that XELOX was non-inferior to FOLFOX-4 and to show that Avastin in combination with FOLFOX-4 or XELOX chemotherapy was superior to chemotherapy alone. Both co-primary objectives were met:

● Non-inferiority of the XELOX-containing arms compared with the FOLFOX-4-containing arms in the overall comparison was demonstrated in terms of progression-free survival and overall survival in the eligible per-protocol population.

● Superiority of the Avastin-containing arms versus the chemotherapy alone arms in the overall comparison was demonstrated in terms of progression-free survival in the ITT population (Table 7).

Secondary PFS analyses, based on 'on-treatment'-based response assessments, confirmed the significantly superior clinical benefit for patients treated with Avastin (analyses shown in Table 7), consistent with the statistically significant benefit observed in the pooled analysis.

Table 7 Key efficacy results for the superiority analysis (ITT population, trial NO16966)

Endpoint (months)

FOLFOX-4 or XELOX + placebo

(n=701)

FOLFOX-4 or XELOX + bevacizumab

(n=699)

P-value

Primary endpoint

Median PFS**

8.0

9.4

0.0023

Hazard ratio (97.5% CI) a

0.83 (0.72-0.95)

Secondary endpoints

Median PFS (on treatment)**

7.9

10.4

< 0.0001

Hazard ratio (97.5% CI)

0.63 (0.52-0.75)

Overall response rate

(invest. assessment)**

49.2 %

46.5 %

Median overall survival*

19.9

21.2

0.0769

Hazard ratio (97.5% CI)

0.89 (0.76-1.03)

* Overall survival analysis at clinical cut-off 31 January 2007

** Primary analysis at clinical cut-off 31 January 2006

a relative to control arm

In the FOLFOX treatment subgroup, the median PFS was 8.6 months in placebo and 9.4 months in bevacizumab treated patients, HR = 0.89, 97.5% CI = [0.73; 1.08]; p-value = 0.1871, the corresponding results in the XELOX treatment subgroup being 7.4 vs. 9.3 months, HR = 0.77, 97.5% CI = [0.63; 0.94]; p-value = 0.0026.

The median overall survival was 20.3 months in placebo and 21.2 months in bevacizumab treated patients in the FOLFOX treatment subgroup, HR=0.94, 97.5% CI = [0.75; 1.16]; p-value = 0.4937, the corresponding results in the XELOX, treatment subgroup being 19.2 vs. 21.4 months, HR = 0.84, 97.5% CI = [0.68; 1.04]; p-value = 0.0698.

ECOG E3200

This was a phase III randomised, active-controlled, open-label trial investigating Avastin 10 mg/kg in combination with leucovorin with 5-fluorouracil bolus and then 5-fluorouracil infusional, with IV oxaliplatin (FOLFOX-4), administered on a 2-weekly schedule in previously-treated patients (second line) with advanced colorectal cancer. In the chemotherapy arms, the FOLFOX-4 regimen used the same doses and schedule as shown in Table 6 for trial NO16966.

The primary efficacy parameter of the trial was overall survival, defined as the time from randomisation to death from any cause. Eight hundred and twenty-nine patients were randomised (292 FOLFOX-4, 293 Avastin + FOLFOX-4 and 244 Avastin monotherapy). The addition of Avastin to FOLFOX-4 resulted in a statistically significant prolongation of survival. Statistically significant improvements in progression-free survival and objective response rate were also observed (see Table 8).

Table 8 Efficacy results for trial E3200

E3200

FOLFOX-4

FOLFOX-4 + Avastina

Number of patients

292

293

Overall survival

Median (months)

10.8

13.0

95% CI

10.12 - 11.86

12.09 - 14.03

Hazard ratiob

0.751

(p-value = 0.0012)

Progression-free survival

Median (months)

4.5

7.5

Hazard ratio

0.518

(p-value < 0.0001)

Objective response rate

Rate

8.6%

22.2%

(p-value < 0.0001)

a 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks

b Relative to control arm

No significant difference was observed in the duration of overall survival between patients who received Avastin monotherapy compared to patients treated with FOLFOX-4. Progression-free survival and objective response rate were inferior in the Avastin monotherapy arm compared to the FOLFOX-4 arm.

ML18147

This was a Phase III randomised, controlled, open-label trial investigating Avastin 5.0 mg/kg every 2 weeks or 7.5 mg/kg every 3 weeks in combination with fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy versus fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy alone in patients with mCRC who have progressed on a first-line bevacizumab-containing regimen.

Patients with histologically confirmed mCRC and disease progression were randomised 1:1 within 3 months after discontinuation of bevacizumab first-line therapy to receive fluoropyrimidine/oxaliplatin- or fluoropyrimidine/irinotecan-based chemotherapy (chemotherapy switched depending on first-line chemotherapy) with or without bevacizumab. Treatment was given until progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity. The primary outcome measure was overall survival defined as the time from randomisation until death from any cause.

A total of 820 patients were randomised. The addition of bevacizumab to fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy resulted in a statistically significant prolongation of survival in patients with mCRC who have progressed on a first-line bevacizumab-containing regimen (ITT = 819) (see Table 9).

Table 9 Efficacy Results for Study ML18147 (ITT population)

ML18147

fluoropyrimidine/irinotecan or fluoropyrimidine/oxaliplatin based chemotherapy

fluoropyrimidine/irinotecan or fluoropyrimidine/oxaliplatin based chemotherapy + Avastina

Number of Patients

410

409

Overall Survival

Median (months)

9.8

11.2

Hazard ratio (95% confidence interval)

0.81 (0.69, 0.94)

(p-value = 0.0062)

Progression-Free Survival

Median (months)

4.1

5.7

Hazard ratio (95% confidence interval)

0.68 (0.59, 0.78)

(p-value < 0.0001)

Objective Response Rate (ORR)

Patients included in analysis

406

404

Rate

3.9%

5.4%

(p-value = 0.3113)

a 5.0 mg/kg every 2 weeks or 7.5 mg/kg every 3 weeks

Statistically significant improvements in progression-free survival were also observed. Objective response rate was low in both treatment arms and the difference was not significant.

Study E3200 used a 5 mg/kg/week equivalent dose of bevacizumab in bevacizumab-naïve patients, while study ML18147 used a 2.5 mg/kg/week equivalent dose of bevacizumab in bevacizumab-pretreated patients. A cross-trial comparison of the efficacy and safety data is limited by differences between these studies, most notably in patient populations, previous bevacizumab exposure and chemotherapy regimens. Both the 5 mg/kg/week and 2.5 mg/kg/week equivalent doses of bevacizumab provided a statistically significant benefit with regards to OS (HR 0.751 in study E3200; HR 0.81 in study ML18147) and PFS (HR 0.518 in study E3200; HR 0.68 in study ML18147). In terms of safety, there was a higher overall incidence of Grade 3-5 AEs in study E3200 relative to study ML18147.

Metastatic breast cancer (mBC)

Two large Phase III trials were designed to investigate the treatment effect of Avastin in combination with two individual chemotherapy agents, as measured by the primary endpoint of PFS. A clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvement in PFS was observed in both trials.

Summarised below are PFS results for the individual chemotherapy agents included in the indication:

- Study E2100 (paclitaxel)

   - Median PFS increase 5.6 months, HR 0.421 (p < 0.0001, 95% CI 0.343; 0.516)

- Study AVF3694g (capecitabine)

   - Median PFS increase 2.9 months, HR 0.69 (p = 0.0002, 95% CI 0.56; 0.84)

Further details of each study and the results are provided below.

ECOG E2100

Trial E2100 was an open-label, randomised, active controlled, multicentre clinical trial evaluating Avastin in combination with paclitaxel for locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer in patients who had not previously received chemotherapy for locally recurrent and metastatic disease. Patients were randomised to paclitaxel alone (90 mg/m2 IV over 1 hour once weekly for three out of four weeks) or in combination with Avastin (10 mg/kg IV infusion every two weeks). Prior hormonal therapy for the treatment of metastatic disease was allowed. Adjuvant taxane therapy was allowed only if it was completed at least 12 months prior to trial entry. Of the 722 patients in the trial, the majority of patients had HER2-negative disease (90%), with a small number of patients with unknown (8%) or confirmed HER2-positive status (2%), who had previously been treated with or were considered unsuitable for trastuzumab therapy. Furthermore, 65% of patients had received adjuvant chemotherapy including 19% prior taxanes and 49% prior anthracyclines. Patients with central nervous system metastases, including previously treated or resected brain lesions, were excluded.

In trial E2100, patients were treated until disease progression. In situations where early discontinuation of chemotherapy was required, treatment with Avastin as a single agent continued until disease progression. The patient characteristics were similar across the trial arms. The primary endpoint of this trial was progression free survival (PFS), based on trial investigators' assessment of disease progression. In addition, an independent review of the primary endpoint was also conducted. The results of this trial are presented in Table 10.

Table 10 Trial E2100 efficacy results

Progression-free survival

Investigator assessment*

IRF assessment

Paclitaxel

(n=354)

Paclitaxel/ Avastin

(n=368)

Paclitaxel

(n=354)

Paclitaxel/ Avastin

(n=368)

Median PFS (months)

5.8

11.4

5.8

11.3

HR

(95% CI)

0.421

(0.343; 0.516)

0.483

(0.385; 0.607)

p-value

< 0.0001

< 0.0001

Response rates (for patients with measurable disease)

Pharmacokinetic properties

The information provided in Pharmacokinetic properties of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacokinetic properties in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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The pharmacokinetic data for bevacizumab are available from ten clinical trials in patients with solid tumours. In all clinical trials, bevacizumab was administered as an IV infusion. The rate of infusion was based on tolerability, with an initial infusion duration of 90 minutes. The pharmacokinetics of bevacizumab was linear at doses ranging from 1 to 10 mg/kg.

Distribution

The typical value for central volume (Vc) was 2.73 L and 3.28 L for female and male patients respectively, which is in the range that has been described for IgGs and other monoclonal antibodies. The typical value for peripheral volume (Vp) was 1.69 L and 2.35 L for female and male patients respectively, when bevacizumab is co-administered with anti-neoplastic agents. After correcting for body weight, male patients had a larger Vc (+ 20%) than female patients.

Biotransformation

Assessment of bevacizumab metabolism in rabbits following a single IV dose of 125I-bevacizumab indicated that its metabolic profile was similar to that expected for a native IgG molecule which does not bind VEGF. The metabolism and elimination of bevacizumab is similar to endogenous IgG i.e. primarily via proteolytic catabolism throughout the body, including endothelial cells, and does not rely primarily on elimination through the kidneys and liver. Binding of the IgG to the FcRn receptor results in protection from cellular metabolism and the long terminal half-life.

Elimination

The value for clearance is, on average, equal to 0.188 and 0.220 L/day for female and male patients, respectively. After correcting for body weight, male patients had a higher bevacizumab clearance (+ 17%) than females. According to the two-compartmental model, the elimination half-life is 18 days for a typical female patient and 20 days for a typical male patient.

Low albumin and high tumour burden are generally indicative of disease severity. Bevacizumab clearance was approximately 30% faster in patients with low levels of serum albumin and 7% faster in subjects with higher tumour burden when compared with a typical patient with median values of albumin and tumour burden.

Pharmacokinetics in special populations

The population pharmacokinetics were analysed in adult and pediatric patients to evaluate the effects of demographic characteristics. In adults, the results showed no significant difference in the pharmacokinetics of bevacizumab in relation to age.

Renal impairment

No trials have been conducted to investigate the pharmacokinetics of bevacizumab in renally impaired patients since the kidneys are not a major organ for bevacizumab metabolism or excretion.

Hepatic impairment

No trials have been conducted to investigate the pharmacokinetics of bevacizumab in patients with hepatic impairment since the liver is not a major organ for bevacizumab metabolism or excretion.

Paediatric population

The pharmacokinetics of bevacizumab were evaluated in 152 children, adolescents and young adults (7 months to 21 years, 5.9 to 125 kg) across 4 clinical studies using a population pharmacokinetic model. The pharmacokinetic results show that the clearance and volume of distribution of bevacizumab were comparable between paediatric and young adult patients when normalised by body weight, with exposure trending lower as body weight decreased. Age was not associated with the pharmacokinetics of bevacizumab when body weight was taken into account.

The pharmacokinetics of bevacizumab was well characterized by the paediatric population PK model for 70 patients in Study BO20924 ((1.4 to 17.6 years; 11.6 to 77.5 kg) and 59 patients in Study BO25041 (1 to 17 years; 11.2 to 82.3 kg). In Study BO20924, bevacizumab exposure was generally lower compared to a typical adult patient at the same dose. In Study BO25041, bevacizumab exposure was similar compared to a typical adult at the same dose. In both studies, bevacizumb exposure trended lower as body weight decreased.

Pharmacotherapeutic group

The information provided in Pharmacotherapeutic group of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacotherapeutic group in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents, antineoplastic agents, other antineoplastic agents, monoclonal antibodies, ATC code: L01X C07

Preclinical safety data

The information provided in Preclinical safety data of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Preclinical safety data in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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In studies of up to 26 weeks duration in cynomolgus monkeys, physeal dysplasia was observed in young animals with open growth plates, at bevacizumab average serum concentrations below the expected human therapeutic average serum concentrations. In rabbits, bevacizumab was shown to inhibit wound healing at doses below the proposed clinical dose. Effects on wound healing were shown to be fully reversible.

Studies to evaluate the mutagenic and carcinogenic potential of bevacizumab have not been performed.

No specific studies in animals have been conducted to evaluate the effect on fertility. An adverse effect on female fertility can however be expected as repeat dose toxicity studies in animals have shown inhibition of the maturation of ovarian follicles and a decrease/absence of corpora lutea and associated decrease in ovarian and uterus weight as well as a decrease in the number of menstrual cycles.

Bevacizumab has been shown to be embryotoxic and teratogenic when administered to rabbits.8 Undesirable Effects.

Incompatibilities

The information provided in Incompatibilities of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Incompatibilities in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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A concentration dependent degradation profile of bevacizumab was observed when diluted with glucose solutions (5%).

Special precautions for disposal and other handling

The information provided in Special precautions for disposal and other handling of Avastin is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Avastin of the medicine (Bevacizumab). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Special precautions for disposal and other handling in the instructions to the drug Avastin directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Avastin should be prepared by a healthcare professional using aseptic technique to ensure the sterility of the prepared solution.

The necessary amount of bevacizumab should be withdrawn and diluted to the required administration volume with sodium chloride 9 mg/ml (0.9%) solution for injection. The concentration of the final bevacizumab solution should be kept within the range of 1.4 mg/ml to 16.5 mg/ml. In the majority of the occasions the necessary amount of Avastin can be diluted with 0.9 % sodium chloride solution for injection to a total volume of 100 mL.

Parenteral medicinal products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discolouration prior to administration.

No incompatibilities between Avastin and polyvinyl chloride or polyolefine bags or infusion sets have been observed.

Avastin is for single-use only, as the product contains no preservatives. Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed in accordance with local requirements.

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