Introduction: Venetoclax, a selective BCL2 inhibitor, is approved for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in patients who received at least one prior therapy and is being studied in several other hematological malignancies including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The objective of this analysis was to characterize the exposure-efficacy and exposure-safety relationships of venetoclax in patients with newly diagnosed AML who are not eligible for standard anthracycline-based induction therapy treated with venetoclax plus a hypomethylating agent (HMA) either azacitidine or decitabine, or low dose cytarabine (LDAC) to inform dose selection.

Methods: A population pharmacokinetic model for venetoclax was developed using data from 336 AML subjects. Post hoc pharmacokinetic parameters generated from the model were used to calculate the exposure metric, steady-state area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUCss), in the exposure-efficacy and exposure-safety analyses. Multivariate cumulative logistic regression analyses were performed using efficacy and safety data. In total, for the venetoclax plus HMA combination, 201 subjects were included in the exposure-efficacy and 212 subjects were included in the exposure-safety analyses. For the venetoclax plus LDAC combination, 83 subjects were included in the exposure-efficacy and 92 subjects were included in the exposure-safety analyses. Predictions based on the exposure-response model parameter estimates were used to explore the exposure- and dose-response relationships and select the optimal venetoclax dose.

Results: Venetoclax in Combination with HMAs: Simulations indicated that venetoclax dosage of 400 mg once daily (QD) in combination with HMAs maximizes the probability of a typical subject achieving a response of complete remission (CR).. Venetoclax exposure-response relationship was similar for both azacitidine and decitabine combination (P > 0.05). For exposure-safety analyses, only treatment-emergent Grade ≥ 3 infections showed a statistically significant relationship with venetoclax exposures in combination with HMAs across the tested venetoclax dose range (400 - 1200 mg QD). The probability of occurrence of treatment-emergent Grade ≥ 3 infections at venetoclax dose of 400 mg and 800 mg was 51% (95% CI: [43, 58%]) and 59% (95% CI: [50, 66%]), respectively.

Venetoclax in Combination with LDAC: A statistically significant association of best responses was determined with increasing steady-state area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUCss). Based on the tolerability data, the probability of achieving CR with incomplete count recovery (CRi) or better, and CR was predicted for doses up to 600 mg. The predicted probability of achieving CRi or better was approximately 46% (95% CI: [37, 55%]) and 55% (95% CI: [45 - 66%]) at exposures associated with the 400 mg and 600 mg dosage regimen given once daily, respectively.

Conclusions: The venetoclax exposure- efficacy and exposure-safety analyses supported the 400 mg QD dosage regimen of venetoclax in combination with the HMAs and 600 mg QD dosage regimen of venetoclax in combination with LDAC in treatment naïve AML patients who are ineligible for standard induction chemotherapy.


Agarwal:AbbVie: Employment, Equity Ownership. Gopalakrishnan:AbbVie: Employment, Equity Ownership. Mensing:AbbVie: Employment, Equity Ownership. Potluri:AbbVie: Employment, Equity Ownership. Hayslip:AbbVie: Employment, Equity Ownership. Friedel:AbbVie: Employment, Equity Ownership. Menon:AbbVie: Employment, Equity Ownership. Salem:AbbVie: Employment, Equity Ownership.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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