Oncologists May Prescribe Tecartus Over Other ALL Agents

On Oct. 1, the FDA gave another indication to Gilead Sciences, Inc. division Kite Pharma, Inc.’s Tecartus (brexucabtagene autoleucel) for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). According to a Zitter Insights survey, oncologists said they are likely to prescribe the drug over certain therapies with that indication.

The approval made it the first chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy to be approved in adults with ALL. In ALL, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.’s CAR-T Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) is approved for the treatment of people up to 25 years old with B-cell precursor ALL that is refractory or has relapsed at least twice.

Tecartus initially received accelerated approval on July 24, 2020, for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma. The therapy’s price is $373,000 for a one-time treatment.

For the Managed Care Oncology Index: Q2 2021, between May 18, 2021, and July 19, 2021, Zitter Insights polled 41 commercial payers with 128.1 million covered lives. Those representing 71% of lives said they expected to manage Tecartus to label within six months of its approval in ALL, while those with 13% of lives said they would take a more restrictive management approach. Payers covering 74% of lives said that they expect to manage Tecartus at parity with all other ALL agents.

Zitter Insights and AIS Health are both MMIT companies.

During the same time frame, Zitter Insights also surveyed 93 oncologists. Fifty-two percent of them said they expected to prefer Tecartus in place of all other ALL therapies for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell ALL, while 18% said it was unlikely that they would take this approach.

Two-thirds of the oncologists said they anticipated prescribing Tecartus in place of select ALL therapies for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell ALL, and 12% said they were unlikely to do this. Among those who said they likely would prefer the agent over select ALL therapies, Pfizer Inc.’s Besponsa (inotuzumab ozogamicin) and Amgen, Inc’s Blincyto (blinatumomab) were the drugs that oncologists said they were most likely to prescribe Tecartus in place of (see chart). Servier Pharmaceuticals LLC’s Oncaspar (pegaspargase) was the product oncologists said they were least likely to replace with Tecartus.

For more information on the Zitter Insights data, contact Jill Brown Kettler at jbrown@aishealth.com.

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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