The Lynx Group

FDA Approvals, News & Updates

On June 15, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of lurbinectedin (Zepzelca; Jazz Pharma/Pharma Mar), an intravenous alkylating drug, for the treatment of adults with metastatic small-cell lung cancer that has progressed during or after platinum-based chemotherapy. The FDA granted lurbinectedin an orphan drug designation for this indication.
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On June 10, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of a new indication for nivolumab (Opdivo; Bristol Myers Squibb), a PD-1 inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with unresectable advanced, recurrent or metastatic esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma after fluoropyrimidine-based and platinum-based chemotherapy. Nivolumab has been previously approved for many indications, but this is its first indication for esophageal cancer.
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On May 8, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of a new kinase inhibitor, selpercatinib (Retevmo; Loxo Oncology) capsules, for the treatment of 3 types of cancer—metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, and other types of thyroid cancer—that are associated with RET gene mutations or fusions, as determined by an FDA-approved test. Selpercatinib is the first therapy approved specifically for the treatment of patients with cancer that is linked to RET mutations or fusions. The FDA granted selpercatinib breakthrough therapy and orphan drug designations.
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On May 6, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of oral capmatinib (Tabrecta; Novartis), a kinase inhibitor, for the treatment of adults with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Capmatinib is the first agent approved by the FDA for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC associated with mutations that lead to mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) exon 14 skipping, as determined by an FDA-approved test. The FDA granted capmatinib breakthrough therapy and orphan drug designations.
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On April 17, 2020, the FDA approved pemigatinib (Pemazyre; Incyte), an oral kinase inhibitor, as the first treatment for adults (aged ≥18 years) with previously treated, locally advanced or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma that is associated with a fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) gene fusion or other rearrangements, as detected by an FDA-approved test. This is the first targeted therapy approved for patients with advanced cholangiocarcinoma. Until now, the standard of therapy for this patient population has been chemotherapy combinations.
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On April 15, 2020, the FDA approved mitomycin gel (Jelmyto; UroGen Pharma), an alkylating drug as the first treatment for patients with low-grade upper-tract urothelial cancer. Mitomycin is a combination of chemotherapy and a sterile hydrogel that stops the transcription of DNA into RNA and halts the synthesis of protein, thereby blocking the ability of cancer cells to multiply. The FDA granted mitomycin gel priority review, breakthrough therapy, fast track, and orphan drug designations.
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On May 29, 2020, the FDA approved ramucirumab (Cyramza; Eli Lilly) in combination with erlotinib (Tarceva) for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 19 deletions or exon 21 (L858R) mutations. Ramucirumab was previously approved for several types of cancer, including, in combination with docetaxel, for metastatic NSCLC, after platinum-based chemotherapy.
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On May 26, 2020, the FDA approved nivolumab (Opdivo; BMS) and ipilimumab (Yervoy; BMS) plus chemotherapy as first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic squamous or nonsquamous non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), regardless of PD-L1 expression, and with no EGFR or ALK aberrations. On May 15, the FDA approved nivolumab plus ipilimumab as first-line treatment of metastatic NSCLC with PD-L1 ≥1% expression.
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On May 29, 2020, the FDA approved the immunotherapy atezolizumab (Tecentriq; Genentech), a PD-L1 inhibitor, in combination with bevacizumab (Avastin; Genentech), a vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have not received systemic therapy. This is the first immunotherapy regimen approved by the FDA for this type of HCC.
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On May 19, 2020, the FDA approved a new indication for olaparib (Lynparza; AstraZeneca), a PARP inhibitor, for the treatment of men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic HRR mutation, as determined by an FDA-approved test, whose disease progressed after enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) therapy. Olaparib is the first FDA-approved PARP inhibitor for prostate cancer.
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