FDA Updates

The FDA has granted priority review to Merck’s supplemental Biologics License Application for the anti-PD–1 agent pembrolizumab as monotherapy for certain patients with high-risk, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer who are ineligible for or have elected not to undergo cystectomy.
On August 16, 2019, the FDA approved fedratinib (Inrebic; Celgene/Impact Biomedicines), an oral kinase inhibitor, for adults with intermediate-2 or high-risk primary or secondary—post–polycythemia vera (PV) or post–essential thrombocythemia (ET)—myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow disorder. The FDA granted fedratinib priority review and an orphan drug designation.
On September 17, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication for apalu­tamide (Erleada; Janssen Biotech) for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC). Apalutamide was initially approved in 2018 for the treatment of nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The FDA granted apalutamide priority review for the new indication.
On September 17, 2019, the FDA accelerated the approval of a new combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck) plus lenvatinib (Lenvima; Eisai) for patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma that is not associated with microsatellite instability high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair–deficient (dMMR) tumors in patients whose disease progressed after systemic therapy and who are candidates for curative surgery or radiation. The FDA granted this application priority review and a breakthrough therapy designation.

On November 15, 2019, the FDA approved crizanlizumab (Adakveo; Novartis) to reduce the frequency of vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs) in adults and pediatric patients aged ≥16 years with sickle-cell disease.

  • Calquence Receives FDA Approval for the Treatment of Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma
  • Despite Some Positive Trends, Report Confirms Lung Cancer Remains the Deadliest Form of Cancer
  • Teva Will Resume Production of Vincristine in Response to Shortage
  • FDA Fast-Tracks Opdivo plus Yervoy Regimen for Treatment of Advanced Liver Cancer
  • FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Brukinsa for Patients with Mantle-Cell Lymphoma
  • FDA Approves Ziextenzo, Third Biosimilar to Pegfilgrastim for Febrile Neutropenia
  • Trump Will Nominate Dr Hahn as Next FDA Commissioner
  • Researchers Report High Rates of E-Cigarette Use Among Children and Teens
On July 30, 2019, the FDA approved darolutamide (Nubeqa; Bayer HealthCare), an oral androgen receptor inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). This approval was based on a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial known as ARAMIS. The FDA granted this application priority review.
On August 2, 2019, the FDA approved pexidartinib (Turalio; Daiichi Sankyo) capsules, a kinase inhibitor, for adults with symptomatic tenosynovial giant-cell tumor (TGCT), which is associated with severe morbidity or functional limitations, who are not candidates for surgery. Pexidartinib is the first systemic therapy approved for patients with TGCT. The FDA granted pexidartinib a priority review and breakthrough therapy and orphan drug designations.
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