FDA Accepts Application for Frontline Nivolumab/Ipilimumab in TMB-High NSCLC

Excerpt:

“The FDA has accepted a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) for the frontline treatment of patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with tumor mutational burden (TMB) ≥10 mutations per megabase (mut/Mb), according to Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), the manufacturer of both immune checkpoint inhibitors.

“The sBLA is based on findings from the phase III CheckMate-227 trial presented at the 2018 AACR Annual Meeting and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, in which the 1-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 43% for patients with high TMB (≥10 mut/Mb) assigned to the immunotherapy combination compared with 13% for those assigned to platinum-doublet chemotherapy. The median PFS was 7.2 months versus 5.5 months, respectively, representing a 42% reduction in risk of disease progression or death (HR, 0.58; 97.5% CI, 0.41-0.81; P <.001).”

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A Proposed New FDA Drug Approval Pathway: “Conditional”

A Q&A with Al Musella, DPM, President, Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc., Hewlett, NY. Marty Tenenbaum, PhD, Founder and Chair, Cancer Commons, Los Altos, CA

Originally published April 5, 2017

Q: The delay time from discovery/observation, through validation to approval and distribution/use of new cancer treatments remains excessive. With promising experimental treatments, advanced computer technology and biostatistics, creative alternatives to traditional randomized clinical trials, and a government seeking efficiencies, might it now be time for the FDA to issue: “Conditional Approvals”?

A: The first advances in oncology occurred at a time when there were no regulations. Doctors had ideas, and put them to work immediately. They adjusted and combined treatments as needed until they were optimized and became standard treatments. Many types of cancer were cured by this work. Continue reading…


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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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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