Phase 1 study of the selective BTK inhibitor zanubrutinib in B-cell malignancies and safety and efficacy evaluation in CLL

Constantine S. Tam, Judith Trotman, Stephen Opat, Jan A. Burger, Gavin Cull, David Gottlieb, Rosemary Harrup, Patrick B. Johnston, Paula Marlton, Javier Munoz, John F. Seymour, David Simpson, Alessandra Tedeschi, Rebecca Elstrom, Yiling Yu, Zhiyu Tang, Lynn Han, Jane Huang, William Novotny, Lai WangAndrew W. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Zanubrutinib is a potent and highly selective inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK). In this first-in-human, open-label, multicenter, phase 1 study, patients in part 1 (3 1 3 dose escalation) had relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies and received zanubrutinib 40, 80, 160, or 320 mg once daily or 160 mg twice daily. Part 2 (expansion) consisted of disease-specific cohorts, including treatment-naive or relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/ small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). The primary end points were safety and tolerability, and definition of the maximum tolerated dose (part 1). Additional end points included pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics and preliminary efficacy. Reported herein are results from 144 patients enrolled in the dose-finding and CLL/SLL cohorts. No dose-limiting toxicities occurred in dose escalation. Median BTK occupancy in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was >95% at all doses. Sustained complete (>95%) BTK occupancy in lymph node biopsy specimens was more frequent with 160 mg twice daily than 320 mg once daily (89% vs 50%; P 5 .0342). Consequently, 160 mg twice daily was selected for further investigation. With median follow-up of 13.7 months (range, 0.4-30.5 months), 89 CLL/SLL patients (94.7%) remain on study. Most toxicities were grade 1/2; neutropenia was the only grade 3/4 toxicity observed in >2 patients. One patient experienced a grade 3 subcutaneous hemorrhage. Among 78 efficacy-evaluable CLL/SLL patients, the overall response rate was 96.2% (95% confidence interval, 89.2-99.2). Estimated progression-free survival at 12 months was 100%. Zanubrutinib demonstrated encouraging activity in CLL/SLL patients, with a low incidence of major toxicities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-859
Number of pages9
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 12 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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