ALECENSA® (alectinib) capsules

ALECENSA® (alectinib) capsules

ALECENSA® (alectinib) capsules

ALECENSA (alectinib) is a kinase inhibitor for oral administration. The molecular formula for alectinib is C30H34N4O2 •HCl. The molecular weight is 482.62 g/mol (free base form) and 519.08 g/mol (hydrochloride salt). Alectinib is described chemically as 9-ethyl-6, 6-dimethyl-8-[4-(morpholin-4-yl)piperidin-1-yl]-11-oxo-6, 11-dihydro-5H-benzo[b]carbazole-3-carbonitrile hydrochloride.

Alectinib HCl is a white to yellow white powder or powder with lumps with a pKa of 7.05 (base).

ALECENSA is supplied as hard capsules containing 150 mg of alectinib (equivalent to 161.33 mg alectinib HCl) and the following inactive ingredients: lactose monohydrate, hydroxypropylcellulose, sodium lauryl sulfate, magnesium stearate, and carboxymethylcellulose calcium. The capsule shell contains hypromellose, carrageenan, potassium chloride, titanium dioxide, corn starch, and carnauba wax. The printing ink contains red iron oxide (E172), yellow iron oxide (E172), FD&C Blue No. 2 aluminum lake (E132), carnauba wax, white shellac, and glyceryl monooleate.

Indications and usage

ALECENSA is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as detected by an FDA-approved test.

Dosage and administration

Patient Selection: Select patients for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC with ALECENSA based on the presence of ALK positivity in tumor tissue or plasma specimens. If ALK rearrangements are not detected in a plasma specimen, test tumor tissue if feasible.

The recommended dose of ALECENSA is 600 mg orally twice daily.

Administer ALECENSA until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

The recommended dose of ALECENSA in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C) is 450 mg orally twice daily.

ALECENSA should be taken with food. Do not open or dissolve the contents of the capsule. If a dose of ALECENSA is missed or vomiting occurs after taking a dose of ALECENSA, take the next dose at the scheduled time.


Mechanism of Action

Alectinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets ALK and RET. In nonclinical studies, alectinib inhibited ALK phosphorylation and ALK-mediated activation of the downstream signaling proteins STAT3 and AKT, and decreased tumor cell viability in multiple cell lines harboring ALK fusions, amplifications, or activating mutations. The major active metabolite of alectinib, M4, showed similar in vitro potency and activity.

Alectinib and M4 demonstrated in vitro and in vivo activity against multiple mutant forms of the ALK enzyme, including some mutations identified in NSCLC tumors in patients who have progressed on crizotinib.

In mouse models implanted with tumors carrying ALK fusions, administration of alectinib resulted in antitumor activity and prolonged survival, including in mouse models implanted intracranially with ALK-driven tumor cell lines.



Adverse reactions

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of ALECENSA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Blood and lymphatic system disorders: hemolytic anemia.

Warnings and precautions

Hepatotoxicity : Monitor liver function tests including ALT, AST, and total bilirubin every 2 weeks during the first 3 months of treatment, then once a month and as clinically indicated, with more frequent testing in patients who develop transaminase and bilirubin elevations. Based on the severity of the adverse drug reaction, withhold ALECENSA and resume at a reduced dose or permanently discontinue ALECENSA.

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)/Pneumonitis: ILD/pneumonitis occurred in three (0.7%) patients treated with ALECENSA in Studies NP28761, NP28673 and ALEX. One (0.2%) of these events was severe (Grade 3).

Promptly investigate for ILD/pneumonitis in any patient who presents with worsening of respiratory symptoms indicative of ILD/pneumonitis (e.g., dyspnea, cough, and fever). Immediately withhold ALECENSA treatment in patients diagnosed with ILD/pneumonitis and permanently discontinue ALECENSA if no other potential causes of ILD/pneumonitis have been identified.

Renal Impairment: Renal impairment occurred in 8% of patients in Studies NP28761, NP28673, and ALEX. The incidence of Grade ≥ 3 renal impairment was 1.7%, of which 0.5% were fatal events. Dose modifications for renal impairment were required in 3.2% of patients. Median time to Grade ≥ 3 renal impairment was 3.7 months (range 0.5 to 14.7 months).

Permanently discontinue ALECENSA for Grade 4 renal toxicity. Withhold ALECENSA for Grade 3 renal toxicity until recovery to less than or equal to 1.5 times ULN, then resume at reduced dose

Bradycardia: Monitor heart rate and blood pressure regularly. Dose modification is not required in cases of asymptomatic bradycardia. In cases of symptomatic bradycardia that is not life-threatening, withhold ALECENSA until recovery to asymptomatic bradycardia or to a heart rate of 60 bpm or above and evaluate concomitant medications known to cause bradycardia, as well as anti-hypertensive medications. If attributable to a concomitant medication, resume ALECENSA at a reduced dose (see Table 1) upon recovery to asymptomatic bradycardia or to a heart rate of 60 bpm or above, with frequent monitoring as clinically indicated. Permanently discontinue ALECENSA in case of recurrence. Permanently discontinue ALECENSA in cases of lifethreatening bradycardia if no contributing concomitant medication is identified

Severe Myalgia and Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK) Elevation: Myalgia or musculoskeletal pain occurred in 26% of patients in Studies NP28761, NP28673 and ALEX. The incidence of Grade 3 myalgia/musculoskeletal pain was 0.7%. Dose modifications for myalgia/musculoskeletal pain were required in 0.5% of patients.

Hemolytic Anemia: Hemolytic anemia has been reported with ALECENSA, including cases associated with a negative direct antiglobulin test (DAT) result. If hemolytic anemia is suspected, withhold ALECENSA and initiate appropriate laboratory testing. If hemolytic anemia is confirmed, consider resuming at a reduced dose upon resolution or permanently discontinue ALECENSA.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on findings from animal studies and its mechanism of action, ALECENSA can cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. Administration of alectinib to pregnant rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis resulted in embryo-fetal toxicity and abortion at maternally toxic doses with exposures approximately 2.7 times those observed in humans with alectinib 600 mg twice daily. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: Based on animal studies and its mechanism of action, ALECENSA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. There are no available data on ALECENSA use in pregnant women.

Lactation: There are no data on the presence of alectinib or its metabolites in human milk, the effects of alectinib on the breastfed infant, or its effects on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants from alectinib, advise a lactating woman not to breastfeed during treatment with ALECENSA and for 1 week after the final dose.


Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness of ALECENSA in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use: Clinical studies of ALECENSA did not include sufficient number of subjects aged 65 and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.

Renal Impairment: No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with mild or moderate renal impairment. The safety of ALECENSA in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min) or end-stage renal disease has not been studied

Hepatic Impairment: No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with mild (Child-Pugh A) or moderate (Child-Pugh B) hepatic impairment. Increased exposure of alectinib occurred in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C). The recommended dose of ALECENSA in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C) is 450 mg orally twice daily


No experience with overdose is available. There is no specific antidote for overdose with ALECENSA. Alectinib and its major active metabolite M4 are > 99% bound to plasma proteins; therefore, hemodialysis is likely to be ineffective in the treatment of overdose.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: