U.S. FDA Accepts Regulatory Submission for Sintilimab in Combination with Pemetrexed and Platinum Chemotherapy for the First-Line Treatment of People with Nonsquamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

SAN FRANCISCO and SUZHOU, China, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Innovent Biologics, Inc. (HKEX: 01801) and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today jointly announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted for review a Biologics License Application (BLA) for sintilimab injection in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of people with nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This is the first U.S. regulatory submission of sintilimab, a PD-1 inhibitor being developed and commercialized under a global collaboration agreement between Innovent and Lilly.

"The acceptance of this application – the first for sintilimab in the U.S. and outside of China – is an important milestone in Innovent’s global commercialization strategy and in our collaboration with Lilly," said Dr. Yongjun Liu, president of Innovent. "We look forward to working closely with the FDA to potentially bring this sintilimab-pemetrexed-platinum chemotherapy combination as a treatment option in the U.S., following the regimen’s regulatory approval in China earlier this year."

Sintilimab is currently being evaluated in a wide variety of cancer types under a broad clinical development program. To date, sintilimab has two indications approved in China, three regulatory submissions under review in China, and this regulatory application under review in U.S.. This regulatory application was submitted to the FDA in March 2021, primarily based on the results of the Phase 3 ORIENT-11 trial. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date for the FDA to make a decision on the sintilimab application is in March 2022. The FDA stated that it did not identify any potential review issues in its acceptance letter. It is currently planning to hold an Advisory Committee meeting to discuss this application.

"We are pleased the sintilimab submission is progressing. Our pursuit of this proposed indication in the U.S. reinforces Lilly’s and Innovent’s joint commitment to offer additional therapeutic options for people living with lung cancer and the healthcare providers who treat them," said Anne White, president, Lilly Oncology. "This is an encouraging start for our collaborative efforts to make sintilimab available in countries beyond China, as we continue to pursue opportunities globally for this immuno-oncology medicine across various tumor types." 

About the ORIENT-11 Trial

ORIENT-11 is a randomized, double-blind, Phase 3 clinical trial assessing the efficacy and safety of sintilimab in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy compared to placebo in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with no sensitizing EGFR mutations or ALK rearrangements. The primary endpoint is progression-free survival (PFS) as assessed by Independent Radiographic Review Committee (IRRC) based on RECIST v1.1., and secondary endpoints include overall survival (OS) and safety profile.

A total of 397 patients were enrolled and randomized 2:1 to receive either sintilimab 200mg or placebo in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy every three weeks for up to four cycles, followed by either sintilimab or placebo plus pemetrexed maintenance therapy. Patients received treatment until radiographic disease progression, unacceptable toxicity or any other conditions that required treatment discontinuation. Conditional crossover was permitted. The results of the ORIENT-11 study were published in 2020.1

About Lung Cancer

Globally, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, killing nearly 1.8 million people worldwide each year. In the U.S., lung cancer is the second most common cancer (not counting skin cancer) and the leading cause of cancer death, responsible for nearly 25 percent of all cancer deaths – more than those from colorectal, breast and prostate cancers combined. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85 percent of all lung cancers, and about 70 percent of those with NSCLC have the nonsquamous subtype. Fifty percent of NSCLC patients present with advanced or metastatic disease at diagnosis.

About Sintilimab

Sintilimab, marketed as TYVYT® (sintilimab injection) in China, is an innovative PD-1 inhibitor with global quality standards jointly developed by Innovent and Lilly. Sintilimab is a type of immunoglobulin G4 monoclonal antibody, which binds to PD-1 molecules on the surface of T-cells, blocks the PD-1 / PD-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway, and reactivates T-cells to kill cancer cells. Innovent is currently conducting more than 20 clinical studies of sintilimab to evaluate its safety and efficacy in a wide variety of cancer indications, including more than 10 registrational or pivotal clinical trials.

In China, sintilimab has been approved for:

  • The treatment of relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma after two lines or later of systemic chemotherapy
  • In combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer

Additionally, Innovent currently has regulatory submissions under review in China for sintilimab:

  • In combination with gemcitabine and platinum chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of squamous non-small cell lung cancer
  • In combination with BYVASDA® (bevacizumab injection) for the first-line treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma
  • The second-line treatment of squamous non-small cell lung cancer

In May 2021, the U.S. FDA accepted for review the Biologics License Application (BLA) for sintilimab in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer.

Sintilimab was included in China’s National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) in 2019 as the first PD-1 inhibitor and the only PD-1 included in the list in that year.

About Innovent

Inspired by the spirit of "Start with Integrity, Succeed through Action," Innovent’s mission is to develop, manufacture and commercialize high-quality biopharmaceutical products that are affordable to ordinary people. Established in 2011, Innovent is committed to developing, manufacturing and commercializing high quality innovative medicines for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune, metabolic and other major diseases. On October 31, 2018, Innovent was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with the stock code: 01801.HK.

Since its inception, Innovent has developed a fully integrated multi-functional platform which includes R&D, CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls), clinical development and commercialization capabilities. Leveraging the platform, the company has built a robust pipeline of 23 valuable assets in the fields of cancer, metabolic, autoimmune diseases and other major therapeutic areas, with four products – TYVYT® (sintilimab injection), BYVASDA® (bevacizumab biosimilar injection), SULINNO® (adalimumab biosimilar injection) and HALPRYZA® (rituximab biosimilar injection) – officially approved for marketing in China, five assets in Phase 3 or pivotal clinical trials, and an additional 14 molecules in clinical trials.

Innovent has built an international team of advanced talents in high-end biological drug development and commercialization, including many overseas experts. The company has also entered into strategic collaborations with Eli Lilly and Company, Adimab, Incyte, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Hanmi and other international partners. Innovent strives to work with all relevant parties to help advance China’s biopharmaceutical industry, improve drug availability to ordinary people and enhance the quality of the patients’ lives. For more information, please visit: www.innoventbio.com.

About Lilly Oncology

For more than 50 years, Lilly has been dedicated to delivering life-changing medicines and support to people living with cancer and those who care for them. Lilly is determined to build on this heritage and continue making life better for all those affected by cancer around the world. To learn more about Lilly’s commitment to people with cancer, please visit www.LillyOncology.com

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit www.lilly.com and lilly.com/newsroom.

About Innovent Biologics’ Strategic Collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company

Innovent entered into a strategic collaboration with Lilly focused on biological medicine in March 2015 – a groundbreaking partnership between a Chinese pharmaceutical company and a multinational pharmaceutical company. Under the agreement, Innovent and Lilly are co-developing and commercializing oncology medicines, including sintilimab in China. In October 2015, the two companies announced the extension of their existing collaboration to include co-development of three additional oncology antibodies targeting oncology indications. In August 2019, Innovent further entered a licensing agreement with Lilly to develop and commercialize a potentially global best-in-class diabetes medicine in China. Its collaboration with Lilly indicates that Innovent has established a comprehensive level of cooperation between China’s innovative pharmaceuticals sector and the international pharmaceuticals sector in fields such as R&D, CMC, clinical development and commercialization. In August 2020,Lilly and Innovent announced a global expansion of their strategic alliance for sintilimab, whereby Lilly obtained an exclusive license for sintilimab for geographies outside of China.


TYVYT® (sintilimab injection; Innovent), BYVASDA® (bevacizumab biosimilar injection; Innovent), SULINNO® (adalimumab biosimilar injection; Innovent), and HALPRYZA® (rituximab biosimilar injection; Innovent) are not approved products in the United States.

Innovent Biologics, Inc. Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain certain forward-looking statements that are, by their nature, subject to significant risks and uncertainties. The words "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend" and similar expressions, as they relate to Innovent, are intended to identify certain of such forward-looking statements. Innovent does not intend to update these forward-looking statements regularly.

These forward-looking statements are based on the existing beliefs, assumptions, expectations, estimates, projections and understandings of the management of Innovent with respect to future events at the time these statements are made. These statements are not a guarantee of future developments and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond Innovent’s control and are difficult to predict. Consequently, actual results may differ materially from information contained in the forward-looking statements as a result of future changes or developments in our business, Innovent’s competitive environment and political, economic, legal and social conditions.

Innovent, the Directors and the employees of Innovent assume (a) no obligation to correct or update the forward-looking statements contained in this site; and (b) no liability in the event that any of the forward-looking statements does not materialise or turn out to be incorrect.

Eli Lilly and Company Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements (as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) about sintilimab injection in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy as a potential first-line treatment of people with nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer and reflects Lilly’s current beliefs and expectations. However, as with any pharmaceutical product, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of drug research, development, and commercialization. Among other things, there can be no guarantee that future study results will be consistent with study results to date, or that sintilimab will receive additional regulatory approvals or be commercially successful. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see Lilly’s most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Lilly undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release.

[1] Yang Y, Wang Z, Fang J, Yu Q, Han B, Cang S, Chen G, Mei X, Yang Z, Ma R, Bi M, Ren X, Zhou J, Li B, Song Y, Feng J, Li J, He Z, Zhou R, Li W, Lu Y, Wang Y, Wang L, Yang N, Zhang Y, Yu Z, Zhao Y, Xie C, Cheng Y, Zhou H, Wang S, Zhu D, Zhang W, Zhang L. Efficacy and Safety of Sintilimab Plus Pemetrexed and Platinum as First-Line Treatment for Locally Advanced or Metastatic Nonsquamous NSCLC: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Phase 3 Study (Oncology pRogram by InnovENT anti-PD-1-11). J Thorac Oncol. 2020 Oct;15(10):1636-1646. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2020.07.014. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

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Source: U.S. FDA Accepts Regulatory Submission for Sintilimab in Combination with Pemetrexed and Platinum Chemotherapy for the First-Line Treatment of People with Nonsquamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer