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      Janssen Provides Update on IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) Phase 3 PHOENIX Trial in Newly Diagnosed Non-Germinal Center B Cell (Non-GCB) Subtype of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)

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      RARITAN, NJ, July 11, 2018 – The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced today topline results from the Phase 3 PHOENIX trial evaluating the investigational use of IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) in the treatment of newly diagnosed non-Germinal Center B cell (non-GCB) subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The study compared IMBRUVICA plus rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) versus R-CHOP, the current standard of care in DLBCL. The clinical trial did not meet the primary endpoint of event-free survival in patients with non-GCB subtype of DLBCL, including activated B cell-like (ABC) subtype of DLBCL. Janssen is conducting further analyses of the PHOENIX study results to assess the potential efficacy of IMBRUVICA as observed in a patient sub-population. IMBRUVICA, a first-in-class Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, is jointly developed and commercialized by Janssen Biotech, Inc., and Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company.

      “While we are disappointed that the overall study did not result in the outcome that we had hoped for in patients living with DLBCL, we are conducting additional analyses to further understand potential benefits we have observed in a sub-population of patients,” said Craig Tendler, M.D., Vice President, Clinical Development and Global Medical Affairs, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “These analyses will be informative in preparation for upcoming consultations with health authorities. We look forward to these regulatory discussions and to submitting the PHOENIX data for presentation at a major medical conference later this year.”

      DLBCL is a fast-growing type of NHL that affects B-cell lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.[i] DLBCL is the most common form of NHL in adults, accounting for up to 40 percent of all cases worldwide.[ii] DLBCL can arise in lymph nodes or outside of the lymphatic system, in the gastrointestinal tract, testes, thyroid, skin, breast, bone, or brain.1 There are two main subtypes of DLBCL: GCB subtype and non-GCB subtype, which includes unspecific subtype and ABC subtype.[iii] The disease occurs more commonly in the elderly and is slightly more prevalent in men.1

      About PHOENIX
      PHOENIX (NCT01855750) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, Phase 3 study comparing the efficacy and safety of ibrutinib in combination with R-CHOP versus placebo in combination with R-CHOP in patients with newly diagnosed non-GCB subtype of DLBCL, including ABC subtype of DLBCL. In the study, patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either placebo plus R-CHOP or 560 mg ibrutinib plus R-CHOP stratified by Revised International Prognostic Index, geographic region, and number of pre-specified treatment cycles (6 vs. 8 cycles). The primary endpoint was event-free survival, defined as the time interval from randomization to the date of disease progression, relapse from complete response as assessed by the investigator, initiation of systemic anti-lymphoma therapy for either positron emission tomography-positive or biopsy-proven residual disease upon completion of at least 6 cycles of R-CHOP therapy, or death, whichever occurred first.

      About IMBRUVICA®
      IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) was one of the first therapies to receive U.S. approval after having received the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation.[iv] IMBRUVICA works by blocking a protein called Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). The BTK protein transmits important signals that cause B cells to mature and produce antibodies and is needed by specific cancer cells to multiply and spread.[v] IMBRUVICA targets and blocks BTK, inhibiting the survival and spread of cancer cells, and impacting signaling associated with other serious conditions. Worldwide, IMBRUVICA has been used to treat more than 100,000 patients to date. For more information, visit

      Additional Information about IMBRUVICA®
      IMBRUVICA® is indicated to treat adults with[iv]

      • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)
      • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) with 17p deletion
      • Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM)
      • Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) patients who have received at least one prior therapy
        • Accelerated approval was granted for this indication based on overall response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.
      • Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) patients who require systemic therapy and have received at least one prior anti-CD20-based therapy
        • Accelerated approval was granted for this indication based on overall response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.
      • Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease (cGVHD) patients who failed one or more lines of systemic therapy



      Hemorrhage: Fatal bleeding events have occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA®. Grade 3 or higher bleeding events (intracranial hemorrhage [including subdural hematoma], gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, and post-procedural hemorrhage) have occurred in up to 6% of patients. Bleeding events of any grade, including bruising and petechiae, occurred in approximately half of patients treated with IMBRUVICA®.

      The mechanism for the bleeding events is not well understood.

      IMBRUVICA® may increase the risk of hemorrhage in patients receiving antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapies and patients should be monitored for signs of bleeding.

      Consider the benefit-risk of withholding IMBRUVICA® for at least 3 to 7 days pre and post-surgery depending upon the type of surgery and the risk of bleeding.

      Infections: Fatal and non-fatal infections (including bacterial, viral, or fungal) have occurred with IMBRUVICA® therapy. Grade 3 or greater infections occurred in 14% to 29% of patients. Cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) have occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA®. Consider prophylaxis according to standard of care in patients who are at increased risk for opportunistic infections.

      Monitor and evaluate patients for fever and infections and treat appropriately.

      Cytopenias: Treatment-emergent Grade 3 or 4 cytopenias including neutropenia (range, 13 to 29%), thrombocytopenia (range, 5 to 17%), and anemia (range, 0 to 13%) based on laboratory measurements occurred in patients with B-cell malignancies treated with single agent IMBRUVICA®.

      Monitor complete blood counts monthly.

      Cardiac Arrhythmias: Fatal and serious cardiac arrhythmias have occurred with IMBRUVICA® therapy. Grade 3 or greater ventricular tachyarrhythmias occurred in 0 to 1% of patients, and Grade 3 or greater atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter occurred in 0 to 6% of patients. These events have occurred particularly in patients with cardiac risk factors, hypertension, acute infections, and a previous history of cardiac arrhythmias.

      Periodically monitor patients clinically for cardiac arrhythmias. Obtain an ECG for patients who develop arrhythmic symptoms (e.g., palpitations, lightheadedness, syncope, chest pain) or new onset dyspnea. Manage cardiac arrhythmias appropriately, and if it persists, consider the risks and benefits of IMBRUVICA® treatment and follow dose modification guidelines.

      Hypertension: Hypertension (range, 6 to 17%) has occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA® with a median time to onset of 4.6 months (range, 0.03 to 22 months). Monitor patients for new onset hypertension or hypertension that is not adequately controlled after starting IMBRUVICA®.

      Adjust existing anti-hypertensive medications and/or initiate anti-hypertensive treatment as appropriate.

      Second Primary Malignancies: Other malignancies (range, 3 to 16%) including non-skin carcinomas (range, 1 to 4%) have occurred in patients treated with IMBRUVICA®. The most frequent second primary malignancy was non-melanoma skin cancer (range, 2 to 13%).

      Tumor Lysis Syndrome: Tumor lysis syndrome has been infrequently reported with IMBRUVICA® therapy. Assess the baseline risk (e.g., high tumor burden) and take appropriate precautions.
      Monitor patients closely and treat as appropriate.

      Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on findings in animals, IMBRUVICA® can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise women to avoid becoming pregnant while taking IMBRUVICA® and for 1 month after cessation of therapy. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus. Advise men to avoid fathering a child during the same time period.


      B-cell malignancies: The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients with B-cell malignancies (MCL, CLL/SLL, WM and MZL) were thrombocytopenia (62%)*, neutropenia (61%)*, diarrhea (43%), anemia (41%)*, musculoskeletal pain (30%), bruising (30%), rash (30%),
      fatigue (29%), nausea (29%), hemorrhage (22%), and pyrexia (21%).

      The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥5%) in patients with B-cell malignancies (MCL, CLL/SLL, WM and MZL) were neutropenia (39%)*, thrombocytopenia (16%)*, and pneumonia (10%).
      Approximately 6% (CLL/SLL), 14% (MCL), 11% (WM) and 10% (MZL) of patients had a dose reduction due to adverse reactions. Approximately 4%-10% (CLL/SLL), 9% (MCL), and 9 % (WM [6%] and MZL [13%]) of patients discontinued due to adverse reactions.

      cGVHD: The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients with cGVHD were fatigue (57%), bruising (40%), diarrhea (36%), thrombocytopenia (33%)*, stomatitis (29%), muscle spasms (29%),
      nausea (26%), hemorrhage (26%), anemia (24%)*, and pneumonia (21%).

      The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥5%) reported in patients with cGVHD were fatigue (12%), diarrhea (10%), neutropenia (10%)*, pneumonia (10%), sepsis (10%), hypokalemia (7%),
      headache (5%), musculoskeletal pain (5%), and pyrexia (5%).

      Twenty-four percent of patients receiving IMBRUVICA® in the cGVHD trial discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions. Adverse reactions leading to dose reduction occurred in 26% of patients.
      *Treatment-emergent decreases (all grades) were based on laboratory measurements and adverse reactions.


      CYP3A Inhibitors: Dose adjustment may be recommended.

      CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration with strong CYP3A inducers.


      Hepatic Impairment (based on Child-Pugh criteria): Avoid use of IMBRUVICA® in patients with severe baseline hepatic impairment. In patients with mild or moderate impairment, reduce IMBRUVICA® dose.
      Please see Full Prescribing Information:

      About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

      At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science.

      We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at Follow us at and Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Janssen Research & Development, LLC are part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

      Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
      This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the investigational use of IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib). The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Janssen Biotech, Inc., any of the other Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: challenges and uncertainties inherent in product research and development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and of obtaining regulatory approvals; uncertainty of commercial success; manufacturing difficulties and delays; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges to patents; product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, including in the sections captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and in the company’s subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at, or on request from Johnson & Johnson. None of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.

      [i] Lymphoma Research Foundation. Focus on: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Accessed July 2018.
      [ii] World Health Organization. Diffuse large b-cell lymphoma. Accessed July 2018.
      [iii] Hans CP, Weisenburger DD, Greiner TC, et al. Confirmation of the molecular classification of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma by immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray. Blood. 2004;103(1):275-281.
      [iv] IMBRUVICA U.S. Prescribing Information, February 2018
      [v] Genetics Home Reference. Isolated growth hormone deficiency. Accessed July 2018.

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