A Phase-3-trial of Acalabrutinib, Obinutuzumab & Venetoclax Compared to Obinutuzumab and Venetoclax in Previously Untreated Patients With High Risk CLL

  • End date
    Feb 27, 2027
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    German CLL Study Group
Updated on 27 May 2022
platelet count
gilbert's syndrome


This multicenter, prospective, open-label, randomized, superiority phase 3 study is designed to demonstrate that treatment with a triple combination of acalabrutinib, obinutuzumab and venetoclax (GAVe) prolong the progression-free survival (PFS) as compared to treatment with the combination of obinutuzumab and venetoclax (GVe) in pa-tients with high risk CLL (defined as having at least one of the follow-ing risk factors: 17p-deletion, TP53-mutation or complex karyotype).


CLL is the most frequent leukemia in industrialized countries. International guidelines agree on diagnosis and management of this disease. The clinical course of CLL is highly variable and can be predicted by clinical staging (according to Rai and Binet) as well as genetic, serum markers and risk models. This study is designed for a randomized comparison of two different, non-chemotherapeutic and fixed-duration modalities for patients with high risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and addresses a high medical need, since high risk-CLL represents a so far incurable, aggressive cancer. The high risk-group of CLL patients can be identified by molecular characteristics, allowing the inclusion of a clearly described group of patients: 17p-deletion, TP53-mutation and/or complex karyotype.TP53 defects are the strongest prognostic factors for non-response to chemotherapy. Patients harboring TP53 defects should be treated with chemotherapy-free regimens. Complex karyotype (CKT), defined as the presence of three or more chromosomal aberrations in two or more metaphases is associated with a poorer outcome in various hematologic malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In CLL, CKT is one of several well established adverse prognostic factors, comparable to 17p-deletion, TP53-mutation or unmutated IGHV status. Depending on age and prior exposure to chemotherapy, 10-30% of patients with CLL exhibit CKT. A broad body of evidence has suggested a predictive prognostic value of CKT. Despite considerable advances with chemoimmunotherapy in the treatment of frontline as well as relapsed/refractory (r/r) CLL, outcome of patients with CKT remains poor. To date, a randomized comparison to optimize the treatment of patients with high risk disease defined as either the presence of TP53 aberrations or CKT, by novel agents has not been performed. Patients with high risk CLL (TP53-defects and/or CKT) have a poor outcome with chemoimmunotherapy and do not benefit to the same extent from approved regimen such as continuous treatment of ibrutinib or 12 months treatment with obinutuzumab plus venetoclax. Monotherapy with BTK-inhibitor is less effective in those patients as compared with patients without high risk disease. Venetoclax combined with the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody obinutuzumab offers a highly effective fixed-duration treatment option with a manageable toxicity profile. The recent results of the CLL14 study define a new standard of a fixed 12-months treatment with obinutuzumab and venetoclax in previously untreated patients yielding a major benefit also for patients with high risk disease as compared to chemoimmunotherapy. However, high risk patients appear to progress earlier than low risk patients and the therapy is not clearly curative so far. Acalabrutinib is a second generation, selective BTK inhibitor which has shown promising overall response rates in patients with relapsed CLL or patients intolerant to ibrutinib. The development of acalabrutinib focussed on minimization of off-target activity. Results of a three-arm study investigating the combination of acalabrutinib plus obinutuzumab versus acalabrutinib alone versus chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab (NCT02475681) showed a substantial improvement of PFS for the combination arm and the monotherapy versus the standard chemoimmunotherapy regimen. The addition of a BTK-inhibitor, such as acalabrutinib to obinutuzumab and venetoclax has the potential to result in a better outcome, because synergistic effects have been reported between BTK inhibitors and B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) inhibitors or for BCL-2 inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. Synergistic effects, which are expected to reduce early progressions or insufficient responses, are in particular important for this high risk population. The triple combination of acalabrutinib, obinutuzumab (or rituximab) and venetoclax has been investigated in a phase 1 b- study and had a tolerable safety profile with minimal to no drug-drug interactions, results of a phase 2 trial studying the same combination showed that the triple combination was highly active with 78% undetectable MRD levels in the bone marrow . Currently, the GCLLSG conducts phase 2 studies, investigating a triple combination consisting of BTK- and Bcl2-inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies (CLL2GIVe: NCT02758665; CLL2BAAG: NCT03787264) and a large phase 3 trial with one experimental arm with a triple combination (CLL13, NCT02950051) but results are not yet published. Acalabrutinib, venetoclax and obinutuzumab is now being studied in a registrational phase 3 trial CL-311 (NCT03836261) against the current standard of chemoimmunotherapy (fludarabine/cyclophosphamide/rituximab (FCR), bendamustine/rituximab (BR) in patients without 17p-deletion or TP53-mutation. Acalabrutinib is indicated in Germany as monotherapy or in combination with obinutuzumab for the treatment of adult patients with treatment-naive chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Condition Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Treatment Obinutuzumab, venetoclax, acalabrutinib
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05197192
SponsorGerman CLL Study Group
Last Modified on27 May 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Documented CLL/SLL requiring treatment according to iwCLL criteria
Age at least 18 years
At least one of the following risk factors: 17p-deletion, TP53-mutation or complex karyotype (defined as defined as the presence of 3 or more chromosomal aberrations in 2 or more metaphases.)
Life expectancy ≥ six months
Adequate bone marrow function indicated by a platelet count >30 x10^9/l
Creatinine clearance ≥ 30ml/min
Adequate liver function as indicated by a total bilirubin ≤ 2 x, AST/ ALT ≤ 2.5 x the institutional ULN value, unless directly attributable to the patient's CLL or to Gilbert's Syndrome
Negative testing for hepatitis B (HbsAg negative and anti-HBc negative; patients positive for anti-HBc may be included if PCR for HBV DNA is negative and HBV-DNA PCR is performed every month until 12 months after last treatment cycle),or hepatitis C (negative testing for hepatitis C RNA within 6 wee
ks prior to registration for study screening (i.e. PCR only required when serology was positive))
ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status) status 0-2

Exclusion Criteria

Any prior CLL-specific therapies (except corticosteroid treatment administered due to necessary immediate intervention; within the last 10 days before start of study treatment, only dose equivalents up to 20 mg prednisolone are permitted)
Absence of high risk disease (17p-deletion, TP53-mutation complex karyotype
An individual organ/system impairment score of 4 as assessed by the CIRS definition (e.g. advanced cardiac disease (NYHA class 3 or 4) limiting the ability to receive the study treatment or any other life-threatening illness, medical condition or organ system dysfunction that, in the investigator´s opinion, could compromise the patients safety or interfere with the absorption or metabolism of the study drugs (e.g. inability to swallow tablets or impaired resorption in the gastrointestinal tract)
Transformation of CLL (Richter transformation)
Malignancies other than CLL currently requiring systemic therapies
Uncontrolled or active infection of HIV/PML or any other active infection
Anticoagulant therapy with warfarin or phenoprocoumon
Pregnant women and nursing mothers
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