AmgenAmgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Allergan plc. (NYSE:AGN) today announced positive top-line results from a comparative clinical study evaluating the efficacy and safety of ABP 798, a biosimilar candidate to Rituxan® (rituximab), compared to Rituxan in patients with CD20-positive B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The primary endpoint, an assessment of overall response rate (ORR) by week 28, was within the prespecified margin for ABP 798 compared to Rituxan, showing clinical equivalence. Safety and immunogenicity of ABP 798 were comparable to Rituxan.

This is the second of two studies intended to support regulatory submissions for ABP 798. The first study was conducted in patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and met the primary endpoint of pharmacokinetic similarity. This RA study demonstrated clinical equivalence within the prespecified efficacy margin, and a similar safety and immunogenicity profile.

"Today's results with ABP 798 demonstrate another positive development from Amgen's robust pipeline of biosimilar medicines and we look forward to working with regulatory agencies to bring this treatment to patients," said David M. Reese, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "We continue to leverage our deep expertise and heritage in biologics across innovative and biosimilar medicines as part of our commitment to providing a range of treatment options for patients with the most serious diseases, including cancer."

ABP 798 is being developed as a biosimilar candidate to Rituxan, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody that is approved in many regions for the treatment of adult patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis, pemphigus vulgaris, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis.

Amgen has a total of 10 biosimilars in its portfolio, including three that are approved in the United States (US).

About the JASMINE Study

The JASMINE study was a randomized, double-blind comparative clinical study (study number NCT02747043) that evaluated the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of ABP 798 compared to rituximab in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. There were 256 adult patients enrolled and randomized to receive either ABP 798 or rituximab at a dose of 375 mg/m2 administered as an intravenous (IV) infusion once weekly for four weeks followed by dosing at weeks 12 and 20. The primary endpoint of the study was risk difference of overall response rate.

About Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates in the lymph system, part of the body's immune system, and occurs when the body produces too many abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.(1,2) Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the U.S., and about 85 percent of cases originate in B cells.(3,4) There are several subtypes, and follicular lymphoma is one of the most common.(2)

About ABP 798

ABP 798 is being developed as a biosimilar candidate to Rituxan® (rituximab), an anti-CD20- monoclonal antibody that is approved in many regions for the treatment of adult patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis, pemphigus vulgaris, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis. The active ingredient of ABP 798 is a monoclonal antibody that has the same amino acid sequence as Rituxan.

About the Amgen and Allergan Collaboration

In December 2011, Amgen and Allergan plc. (then Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) formed a collaboration to develop and commercialize, on a worldwide basis, four oncology antibody biosimilar medicines. This collaboration reflects the shared belief that the development and commercialization of biosimilar products will not follow a pure brand or generic model and will require significant expertise, infrastructure, and investment to ensure safe, reliably supplied therapies for patients. Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen assumes primary responsibility for developing, manufacturing and initially commercializing the oncology antibody products.

About Amgen Biosimilars

Amgen is committed to building upon Amgen's experience in the development and manufacturing of innovative human therapeutics to expand Amgen's reach to patients with serious illnesses. Biosimilars will help to maintain Amgen's commitment to connect patients with vital medicines, and Amgen is well positioned to leverage its nearly four decades of experience in biotechnology to create high-quality biosimilars and reliably supply them to patients worldwide.

About Amgen Oncology

Amgen is searching for and finding answers to incredibly complex questions that will advance care and improve lives for cancer patients and their families. Our research drives us to understand the disease in the context of the patient's life - not just their cancer journey - so they can take control of their lives.

For the last four decades, we have been dedicated to discovering the firsts that matter in oncology and to finding ways to reduce the burden of cancer. Building on our heritage, Amgen continues to advance the largest pipeline in the Company's history, moving with great speed to advance those innovations for the patients who need them.

At Amgen, we are driven by our commitment to transform the lives of cancer patients and keep them at the center of everything we do.

About Amgen

Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.

Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

About Allergan plc

Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a global pharmaceutical leader focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceutical, device, biologic, surgical and regenerative medicine products for patients around the world. Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products primarily focused on four key therapeutic areas including medical aesthetics, eye care, central nervous system and gastroenterology. As part of its approach to delivering innovation for better patient care, Allergan has built one of the broadest pharmaceutical and device research and development pipelines in the industry.

With colleagues and commercial operations located in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives every day.

Rituxan® is a registered trademark of Biogen, Inc.

1. National Cancer Institute. Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment. Accessed July 17, 2019
2. Mayo Clinic. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Accessed July 17, 2019.
3. American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Accessed July 17, 2019.
4. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Accessed July 17, 2019.