Avastin: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 3 of 6)

6.2 Immunogenicity

As with all therapeutic proteins, there is a potential for immunogenicity. The detection of antibody formation is highly dependent on the sensitivity and the specificity of the assay. Additionally, the observed incidence of antibody (including neutralizing antibody) positivity in an assay may be influenced by several factors, including assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to bevacizumab in the studies described below with the incidence of antibodies in other studies or to other bevacizumab products may be misleading.

In clinical studies for adjuvant treatment of a solid tumor, 0.6% (14/2233) of patients tested positive for treatment-emergent anti-bevacizumab antibodies as detected by an electrochemiluminescent (ECL) based assay. Among these 14 patients, three tested positive for neutralizing antibodies against bevacizumab using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The clinical significance of these anti-bevacizumab antibodies is not known.

6.3 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of Avastin. 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.

General: Polyserositis

Cardiovascular: Pulmonary hypertension, Mesenteric venous occlusion

Gastrointestinal: Gastrointestinal ulcer, Intestinal necrosis, Anastomotic ulceration

Hemic and lymphatic: Pancytopenia

Hepatobiliary disorders: Gallbladder perforation

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders: Osteonecrosis of the jaw

Renal: Renal thrombotic microangiopathy (manifested as severe proteinuria)

Respiratory: Nasal septum perforation


Effects of Avastin on Other Drugs

No clinically meaningful effect on the pharmacokinetics of irinotecan or its active metabolite SN38, interferon alfa, carboplatin or paclitaxel was observed when Avastin was administered in combination with these drugs; however, 3 of the 8 patients receiving Avastin with paclitaxel and carboplatin had lower paclitaxel exposure after four cycles of treatment (at Day 63) than those at Day 0, while patients receiving paclitaxel and carboplatin alone had a greater paclitaxel exposure at Day 63 than at Day 0.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Based on findings from animal studies and its mechanism of action [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.1)], Avastin may cause fetal harm in pregnant women. Limited postmarketing reports describe cases of fetal malformations with use of Avastin in pregnancy; however, these reports are insufficient to determine drug-associated risks. In animal reproduction studies, intravenous administration of bevacizumab to pregnant rabbits every 3 days during organogenesis at doses approximately 1 to 10 times the clinical dose of 10 mg/kg produced fetal resorptions, decreased maternal and fetal weight gain and multiple congenital malformations including corneal opacities and abnormal ossification of the skull and skeleton including limb and phalangeal defects (see Data). Furthermore, animal models link angiogenesis and VEGF and VEGFR2 to critical aspects of female reproduction, embryofetal development, and postnatal development. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.

In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.


Animal Data

Pregnant rabbits dosed with 10 mg/kg to 100 mg/kg bevacizumab (approximately 1 to 10 times the clinical dose of 10 mg/kg) every three days during the period of organogenesis (gestation day 6–18) exhibited decreases in maternal and fetal body weights and increased number of fetal resorptions. There were dose-related increases in the number of litters containing fetuses with any type of malformation (42% for the 0 mg/kg dose, 76% for the 30 mg/kg dose, and 95% for the 100 mg/kg dose) or fetal alterations (9% for the 0 mg/kg dose, 15% for the 30 mg/kg dose, and 61% for the 100 mg/kg dose). Skeletal deformities were observed at all dose levels, with some abnormalities including meningocele observed only at the 100 mg/kg dose level. Teratogenic effects included: reduced or irregular ossification in the skull, jaw, spine, ribs, tibia and bones of the paws; fontanel, rib and hindlimb deformities; corneal opacity; and absent hindlimb phalanges.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

No data are available regarding the presence of bevacizumab in human milk, the effects on the breast fed infant, or the effects on milk production. Human IgG is present in human milk, but published data suggest that breast milk antibodies do not enter the neonatal and infant circulation in substantial amounts. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with Avastin and for 6 months after the last dose.

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential



Avastin may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)]. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with Avastin and for 6 months after the last dose.



Avastin increases the risk of ovarian failure and may impair fertility. Inform females of reproductive potential of the risk of ovarian failure prior to the first-dose of Avastin. Long-term effects of Avastin on fertility are not known.

In a clinical study of 179 premenopausal women randomized to receive chemotherapy with or without Avastin, the incidence of ovarian failure was higher in patients who received Avastin with chemotherapy (34%) compared to patients who received chemotherapy alone (2%). After discontinuing Avastin with chemotherapy, recovery of ovarian function occurred in 22% of these patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11), Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of Avastin in pediatric patients have not been established.

In published literature reports, cases of non-mandibular osteonecrosis have been observed in patients under the age of 18 years who have received Avastin. Avastin is not approved for use in patients under the age of 18 years.

Antitumor activity was not observed among eight pediatric patients with relapsed GBM who received bevacizumab and irinotecan. Addition of Avastin to standard of care did not result in improved event-free survival in pediatric patients enrolled in two randomized clinical studies, one in high grade glioma (n= 121) and one in metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma or non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcoma (n= 154).

Based on the population pharmacokinetics analysis of data from 152 pediatric and young adult patients with cancer (7 months to 21 years of age), bevacizumab clearance normalized by body weight in pediatrics was comparable to that in adults.

Juvenile Animal Toxicity Data

Juvenile cynomolgus monkeys with open growth plates exhibited physeal dysplasia following 4 to 26 weeks exposure at 0.4 to 20 times the recommended human dose (based on mg/kg and exposure). The incidence and severity of physeal dysplasia were dose-related and were partially reversible upon cessation of treatment.

8.5 Geriatric Use

In an exploratory pooled analysis of 1745 patients from five randomized, controlled studies, 35% of patients were ≥ 65 years old. The overall incidence of ATE was increased in all patients receiving Avastin with chemotherapy as compared to those receiving chemotherapy alone, regardless of age; however, the increase in the incidence of ATE was greater in patients ≥ 65 years (8% vs. 3%) as compared to patients < 65 years (2% vs. 1%) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].


Bevacizumab is a vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor. Bevacizumab is a recombinant humanized monoclonal IgG1 antibody that contains human framework regions and murine complementarity-determining regions. Bevacizumab has an approximate molecular weight of 149 kDa. Bevacizumab is produced in a mammalian cell (Chinese Hamster Ovary) expression system.

Avastin (bevacizumab) injection is a sterile, preservative-free, clear to slightly opalescent, colorless to pale brown solution in a single-dose vial for intravenous use. Avastin contains bevacizumab at a concentration of 25 mg/mL in either a 100 mg/4 mL or 400 mg/16 mL single-dose vial.

Each mL of solution contains 25 mg bevacizumab, α,α-trehalose dihydrate (60 mg), polysorbate 20 (0.4 mg), sodium phosphate dibasic, anhydrous (1.2 mg), sodium phosphate monobasic, monohydrate (5.8 mg), and Water for Injection, USP. The pH is 6.2.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Bevacizumab binds VEGF and prevents the interaction of VEGF to its receptors (Flt-1 and KDR) on the surface of endothelial cells. The interaction of VEGF with its receptors leads to endothelial cell proliferation and new blood vessel formation in in vitro models of angiogenesis. Administration of bevacizumab to xenotransplant models of colon cancer in nude (athymic) mice caused reduction of microvascular growth and inhibition of metastatic disease progression.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

The pharmacokinetic profile of bevacizumab was assessed using an assay that measures total serum bevacizumab concentrations (i.e., the assay did not distinguish between free bevacizumab and bevacizumab bound to VEGF ligand). Based on a population pharmacokinetic analysis of 491 patients who received 1 to 20 mg/kg of Avastin every week, every 2 weeks, or every 3 weeks, bevacizumab pharmacokinetics are linear and the predicted time to reach more than 90% of steady state concentration is 84 days. The accumulation ratio following a dose of 10 mg/kg once every 2 weeks is 2.8.

Population simulations of bevacizumab exposures provide a median trough concentration of 80.3 mcg/mL on Day 84 (10th , 90th percentile: 45, 128) following a dose of 5 mg/kg once every two weeks.


The mean (% coefficient of variation [CV%]) central volume of distribution is 2.9 (22%) L.


The mean (CV%) clearance is 0.23 (33) L/day. The estimated half-life is 20 days (11 to 50 days).

Specific Populations

The clearance of bevacizumab varied by body weight, sex, and tumor burden. After correcting for body weight, males had a higher bevacizumab clearance (0.26 L/day vs. 0.21 L/day) and a larger central volume of distribution (3.2 L vs. 2.7 L) than females. Patients with higher tumor burden (at or above median value of tumor surface area) had a higher bevacizumab clearance (0.25 L/day vs. 0.20 L/day) than patients with tumor burdens below the median. In Study AVF2107g, there was no evidence of lesser efficacy (hazard ratio for overall survival) in males or patients with higher tumor burden treated with Avastin as compared to females and patients with low tumor burden.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No studies have been conducted to assess potential of bevacizumab for carcinogenicity or mutagenicity.

Bevacizumab may impair fertility. Female cynomolgus monkeys treated with 0.4 to 20 times the recommended human dose of bevacizumab exhibited arrested follicular development or absent corpora lutea, as well as dose-related decreases in ovarian and uterine weights, endometrial proliferation, and the number of menstrual cycles. Following a 4- or 12-week recovery period, there was a trend suggestive of reversibility. After the 12-week recovery period, follicular maturation arrest was no longer observed, but ovarian weights were still moderately decreased. Reduced endometrial proliferation was no longer observed at the 12-week recovery time point; however, decreased uterine weight, absent corpora lutea, and reduced number of menstrual cycles remained evident.

13.2 Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology

Rabbits dosed with bevacizumab exhibited reduced wound healing capacity. Using full-thickness skin incision and partial thickness circular dermal wound models, bevacizumab dosing resulted in reductions in wound tensile strength, decreased granulation and re-epithelialization, and delayed time to wound closure.


14.1 Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Study AVF2107g

The safety and efficacy of Avastin was evaluated in a double-blind, active-controlled study [AVF2107g (NCT00109070)] in 923 patients with previously untreated mCRC who were randomized (1:1:1) to placebo with bolus-IFL (irinotecan 125 mg/m2 , fluorouracil 500 mg/m2 , and leucovorin 20 mg/m2 given once weekly for 4 weeks every 6 weeks), Avastin (5 mg/kg every 2 weeks) with bolus-IFL, or Avastin (5 mg/kg every 2 weeks) with fluorouracil and leucovorin. Enrollment to the Avastin with fluorouracil and leucovorin arm was discontinued after enrollment of 110 patients in accordance with the protocol-specified adaptive design. Avastin was continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity or for a maximum of 96 weeks. The main outcome measure was overall survival (OS).

The median age was 60 years; 60% were male, 79% were White, 57% had an ECOG performance status of 0, 21% had a rectal primary and 28% received prior adjuvant chemotherapy. The dominant site of disease was extra-abdominal in 56% of patients and was the liver in 38% of patients.

The addition of Avastin improved survival across subgroups defined by age (< 65 years, ≥ 65 years) and sex. Results are presented in Table 9 and Figure 1.

Table 9: Efficacy Results in Study AVF2107g
Efficacy ParameterAvastin with bolus-IFL(N=402)Placebo with bolus-IFL(N=411)
by stratified log-rank test.
by χ2 test
Overall Survival
Median, in months20.315.6
Hazard ratio (95% CI)0.66(0.54, 0.81)
p-value *< 0.001
Progression-Free Survival
Median, in months10.66.2
Hazard ratio (95% CI)0.54(0.45, 0.66)
p-value *< 0.001
Overall Response Rate
Rate (%)45%35%
p-value < 0.01
Duration of Response
Median, in months10.47.1
Figure 1: Kaplan-Meier Curves for Duration of Survival in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer in Study AVF2107g
Figure 1
(click image for full-size original)

Among the 110 patients randomized to Avastin with fluorouracil and leucovorin, median OS was 18.3 months, median progression-free survival (PFS) was 8.8 months, overall response rate (ORR) was 39%, and median duration of response was 8.5 months.

Study E3200

The safety and efficacy of Avastin were evaluated in a randomized, open-label, active-controlled study [E3200 (NCT00025337)] in 829 patients who were previously treated with irinotecan and fluorouracil for initial therapy for metastatic disease or as adjuvant therapy. Patients were randomized (1:1:1) to FOLFOX4 (Day 1: oxaliplatin 85 mg/m2 and leucovorin 200 mg/m2 concurrently, then fluorouracil 400 mg/m2 bolus followed by 600 mg/m2 continuously; Day 2: leucovorin 200 mg/m2 , then fluorouracil 400 mg/m2 bolus followed by 600 mg/m2 continuously; every 2 weeks), Avastin (10 mg/kg every 2 weeks prior to FOLFOX4 on Day 1) with FOLFOX4, or Avastin alone (10 mg/kg every 2 weeks). Avastin was continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The main outcome measure was OS.

The Avastin alone arm was closed to accrual after enrollment of 244 of the planned 290 patients following a planned interim analysis by the data monitoring committee based on evidence of decreased survival compared to FOLFOX4 alone.

The median age was 61 years; 60% were male, 87% were White, 49% had an ECOG performance status of 0, 26% received prior radiation therapy, and 80% received prior adjuvant chemotherapy, 99% received prior irinotecan with or without fluorouracil for metastatic disease, and 1% received prior irinotecan and fluorouracil as adjuvant therapy.

The addition of Avastin to FOLFOX4 resulted in significantly longer survival as compared to FOLFOX4 alone; median OS was 13.0 months vs. 10.8 months [hazard ratio (HR) 0.75 (95% CI: 0.63, 0.89), p-value of 0.001 stratified log-rank test] with clinical benefit seen in subgroups defined by age (< 65 years, ≥ 65 years) and sex. PFS and ORR based on investigator assessment were higher in patients receiving Avastin with FOLFOX4.

Study TRC-0301

The activity of Avastin with fluorouracil (as bolus or infusion) and leucovorin was evaluated in a single arm study [TRC-0301 (NCT00066846)] enrolling 339 patients with mCRC with disease progression following both irinotecan- and oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy. Seventy-three percent of patients received concurrent bolus fluorouracil and leucovorin. One objective partial response was verified in the first 100 evaluable patients for an ORR of 1% (95% CI: 0%, 5.5%).

Study ML18147

The safety and efficacy of Avastin were evaluated in a prospective, randomized, open-label, multinational, controlled study [ML18147 (NCT00700102)] in 820 patients with histologically confirmed mCRC who had progressed on a first-line Avastin containing regimen. Patients were excluded if they progressed within 3 months of initiating first-line chemotherapy and if they received Avastin for less than 3 consecutive months in the first-line setting. Patients were randomized (1:1) within 3 months after discontinuing Avastin as first-line treatment to receive fluoropyrimidine-irinotecan- or fluoropyrimidine-oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy with or without Avastin (5 mg/kg every 2 weeks or 7.5 mg/kg every 3 weeks). The choice of second-line treatment was contingent upon first-line chemotherapy. Second-line treatment was administered until progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity. The main outcome measure was OS. A secondary outcome measure was ORR.

The median age was 63 years (21 to 84 years); 64% were male, 52% had an ECOG performance status of 1, 44% had an ECOG performance status of 0, 58% received irinotecan-based therapy as first-line treatment, 55% progressed on first-line treatment within 9 months, and 77% received their last dose of Avastin as first-line treatment within 42 days of being randomized. Second-line chemotherapy regimens were generally balanced between each arm.

The addition of Avastin to fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy resulted in a statistically significant prolongation of OS and PFS. There was no significant difference in ORR. Results are presented in Table 10 and Figure 2.

Table 10: Efficacy Results in Study ML18147
Efficacy ParameterAvastin with Chemotherapy(N=409)Chemotherapy(N=411)
p=0.0057 by unstratified log-rank test.
p-value < 0.0001 by unstratified log-rank test.
Overall Survival *
Median, in months11.29.8
Hazard ratio (95% CI)0.81 (0.69, 0.94)
Progression-Free Survival
Median, in months5.74.0
Hazard ratio (95% CI)0.68 (0.59, 0.78)
Figure 2: Kaplan-Meier Curves for Duration of Survival in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer in Study ML18147
Figure 2
(click image for full-size original)

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