Talazoparib Granted Priority Review by FDA for BRCA+ Metastatic Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“A new drug application (NDA) for the PARP inhibitor talazoparib has been granted a priority review by the FDA for the treatment of patients with germline BRCA mutation–positive, HER2-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, according to Pfizer, the manufacturer of the agent.

“In results from the phase III EMBRACA trial, on which the application is based, talazoparib reduced risk of disease progression or death by 46% compared with chemotherapy in patients with BRCA-positive advanced breast cancer. At a median follow-up of 11.2 months, the Median progression-free survival (PFS) at the median follow-up of 11.2 months was 8.6 months (95% CI, 7.2-9.3) with talazoparib versus 5.6 months (95% CI, 4.2-6.7) with physician’s choice of therapy (HR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.41-0.71; P <.0001). The objective response rate (ORR) was 62.6% (95% CI, 55.8-69.0) compared with 27.2% (95% CI, 19.3-36.3), respectively (odds ratio, 4.99; 95% CI, 2.9-8.8; 2-sided P value <.0001).”

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FDA Grants Priority Review to Tecentriq Combo for First-Line Treatment of Advanced Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review to Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab) and chemotherapy medications Taxol (paclitaxel) and carboplatin for first-line treatment of metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“Priority review of Roche’s supplemental Biologics License Application means the FDA will decide whether or not to approve the therapy within six months instead of the standard 10 months. A decision is now expected by Sept. 5. To be granted priority review, a therapy candidate must show potential to provide significant benefits for the treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of a disease.”

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Practice-Changing Developments in Treatment of Metastatic NSCLC


Immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs that target the proteins PD-1 and PD-L1 are by now well established in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nivolumab (Opdivo), an anti-PD-1 drug, for treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC who progressed or relapsed after platinum-based chemotherapy. Atezolizumab (Tecentriq), an anti-PD-L1 drug, was approved in 2016 for treatment of NSCLC patients in the same situation. In October 2016, the FDA approved Pembrolizumab (Keytruda), a competing anti-PD-1 antibody, as first-line treatment in metastatic NSCLC patients whose tumors have high expression levels of the PD-L1 protein.

With these approvals, the stage was set to move these drugs into combination treatments that may increase their efficacy. Not surprisingly, combinations with chemotherapy have now been explored, among other possibilities. Continue reading…


FDA Grants Priority Review to Tecentriq Combo for First-Line Treatment of Advanced Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review to Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab) and chemotherapy medications Taxol (paclitaxel) and carboplatin for first-line treatment of metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“Priority review of Roche’s supplemental Biologics License Application means the FDA will decide whether or not to approve the therapy within six months instead of the standard 10 months. A decision is now expected by Sept. 5. To be granted priority review, a therapy candidate must show potential to provide significant benefits for the treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of a disease.”

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Why the 21st Century Cures Act is a Good Thing

A Q&A with Mary Woolley, President and CEO of Research!America

Originally published Feb. 8, 2017

Q: You attended the December signing by President Obama of the 21st Century Cures Act and are recognized to be a strong supporter. Yet harsh criticism of it has quickly appeared in JAMA, BMJ, a variety of other venues, as well as on these pages. Please tell our readers why this is good legislation and how the public health will be protected from exploitation in this very different regulatory world.

A: The bi-partisan 21st Century Cures Act is grounded in a commitment to assuring that our nation’s research ecosystem has the capacity to accelerate the pace at which safe and effective medical advances reach patients. The Act will expand the efficiency, reach and impact of medical discovery in a manner that sustains crucial safeguards against unsafe or ineffective products. The law finances more research, helps to reduce the administrative cost surrounding basic research, and takes additional steps to overcome challenges the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) faces. Patient groups, health care professionals, academic leaders, industry leaders and the FDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were frequently consulted regarding provisions of this bipartisan bill, and their insights were incorporated. We at Research!America were closely involved throughout development of the bill, and are pleased that it crossed the finish line last December.

After years of automatic spending cuts and flat-funding, researchers have been stressed as they work to find solutions to deadly and complex diseases. The 21st Century Cures provides some relief in that regard with an initial $352 million in FY17 to support the NIH Precision MedicineBRAIN, and Cancer Moonshot initiatives. Congress recognizes that these dollars are targeted and temporary; they do not supplant the need to grow NIH’s annual budget. As reflected in surveys that Research!America commissions regularly, Americans recognize the importance of federally-funded research and support streamlining the pursuit of medical research and innovation.

The FDA, which has for years been underfunded, will also receive new funding with an initial $20 million in FY17 to improve efficiencies in the R&D pipeline. This new funding, in combination with other provisions of the law, is particularly meaningful as it will give the FDA more flexibility to recruit additional experts needed to assure that our regulatory system can properly evaluate rapidly evolving science in areas such as immunology and regenerative medicine.

One important example of rapidly evolving science is the potential to diversify the evidence base used to evaluate the safety and efficacy of medical advances by leveraging “real world evidence” (RWE). The Cures Act defines real world evidence as “data regarding the usage, or the potential benefits or risks, of a drug derived from sources other than randomized clinical trials.” While concerns have been raised that the RWE provisions would force the FDA to relax critical safety and efficacy standards, these provisions were developed with agency input. This section of the law is designed to empower, not require, the FDA to capitalize on real world data. Real world data will be used when — and only when — it is appropriate to do so.

Faster medical progress saves lives. The 21st Century Cures Act will fuel faster progress. It’s incumbent upon research advocates to engage elected officials to build on the Cures Act, and ensure that adequate funding is provided to make the promise of science and innovation a reality in our lifetime.

Copyright: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


FDA Accepts sBLA, Grants Priority Review to Atezolizumab for Initial Treatment of Metastatic Nonsquamous NSCLC

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) and granted Priority Review for atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with bevacizumab (Avastin), paclitaxel, and carboplatin for the first-line treatment of metastatic nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The FDA is expected to make a decision on approval by September 5, 2018.

” ‘Our phase III results showed atezolizumab in combination with bevacizumab, paclitaxel, and carboplatin has the potential to provide a significant survival benefit in the initial treatment of metastatic nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer,’ said Sandra Horning, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development at Genentech.”

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Frontline Pembrolizumab Combo Submitted for FDA Approval in Squamous NSCLC

Excerpt:

“The FDA has received a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) seeking approval for pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in combination with standard chemotherapy as a treatment for patients with metastatic squamous non–small cell lung cancer (sNSCLC).

“The application is based on findings from the phase III KEYNOTE-407 trial (NCT02775435),  which evenly randomized 560 treatment-naive patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC to pembrolizumab combined with carboplatin/paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane), carboplatin/paclitaxel alone, or nab-paclitaxel alone. The coprimary endpoints were overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR) and duration of response.”

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Adjuvant Dabrafenib/Trametinib Granted FDA Approval for BRAF+ Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Based on data from the phase III COMBI-AD study, the combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) has been granted FDA approval for the adjuvant treatment of patients with BRAF V600E– or V600K–positive stage III melanoma following complete resection.

“In results from the trial, adjuvant treatment with dabrafenib and trametinib reduced the risk of relapse or death by 53% compared with placebo for patients with BRAF-mutant stage III melanoma.1,2 After a median follow-up of 2.8 years, the 3-year relapse-free survival (RFS) rate with dabrafenib and trametinib was 58% compared with 39% for placebo (HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.39-0.58; P <.001).”

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FDA Grants Priority Review to Keytruda as Part of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Regimen

Excerpt:

“The FDA granted priority review to a supplemental biologics license application that seeks approval of pembrolizumab for use in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer.

“Pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2.”

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