On October 27, 2023, Coherus BioSciences, Inc. and Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co., Ltd. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved LOQTORZI™ (toripalimab-tpzi) in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine for the first-line treatment of adults with metastatic or recurrent locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and as monotherapy for the treatment of adults with recurrent, unresectable, or metastatic NPC with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy.
Toripalimab (marketed as Tuoyi® in China) is an IgG4k anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody developed by Shanghai Junshi Bioscience Co., Ltd. Coherus partnered with the company to co-develop toripalimab, with Coherus responsible for the development and commercialization of toripalimab in the US and Canada. In 2018, toripalimab became the first anti-PD1 approved in China, and the product is now approved there for multiple types of cancer.
Toripalimab was granted Orphan Drug designations by the FDA for the treatment of NPC, mucosal melanoma, soft tissue sarcoma, esophageal cancer, and SCLC. FDA also granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to toripalimab for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic NPC with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy and in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin as a first-line treatment for patients with recurrent or metastatic NPC.
FDA’s approval was based on results of the JUPITER-02 Phase 3 study and the POLARIS-02 Phase 2 study and is irrespective of a patient’s PD-L1 status. The recommended LOQTORZI dose with cisplatin and gemcitabine is 240 mg every three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months. The recommended LOQTORZI dose as a single agent for previously treated NPC is 3 mg/kg every two weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
The Phase 3 JUPITER-02 (NCT03581786) study included patients with recurrent or metastatic NPC and no previous chemotherapy for recurrent or metastatic disease. Patients (n=289) were randomized (1:1) to receive either toripalimab (240 mg) or placebo in combination with gemcitabine-cisplatin therapy every 3 weeks for up to six cycles, followed by monotherapy with toripalimab or placebo. The primary endpoint was PFS as assessed by a blinded independent review committee according to RECIST v.1.1. The combination of toripalimab and gemcitabine-cisplatin improved the median progression-free survival compared to the chemotherapy arm (11.7 vs 8 months, respectively), the overall response rate (77.4% vs. 66.4% (P = 0.033), respectively) and the median duration of response (10.0 vs. 5.7 months, respectively).
In the POLARIS-02 clinical study, LOQTORZI demonstrated durable antitumor activity in patients with recurrent or metastatic NPC who failed previous chemotherapy, with an objective response rate (ORR) of 20.5%, a disease control rate (DCR) of 40.0%, and a median OS of 17.4 months with an acceptable safety profile.