FDA’s First Tissue/Site-Agnostic Approval

July 26th, 2017

The FDA for the first time approved a cancer treatment based on specific genetic biomarker, rather than location in the body where the tumor originated. KEYTRUDA®, an anti-PD1 monoclonal antibody was granted accelerated approval for treatment of adult and pediatric patients with unresectable or metastatic, MicroSatellite Instability-High (MSI-H) or MisMatch Repair deficient (dMMR) solid tumors that have progressed following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options or with MSI-H or dMMR ColoRectal Cancer that has progressed following treatment with a Fluoropyrimidine, Oxaliplatin, and Irinotecan. MMR gene deficiency can be detected by ImmunoHistoChemistry and MSI testing is performed using a PCR based assay.

FDA Approves ENDARI® for Sickle Cell Disease

July 21st, 2017

The FDA on July 7, 2017 approved ENDARI® (L-Glutamine oral powder) for oral administration to reduce the acute complications of Sickle Cell disease, in adult and pediatric patients 5 years and older. There is a higher L-glutamine utilization in Sickle Cell Anemia resulting in its depletion and thereby contributing to oxidative stress. This oxidative stress is an important contributing factor to hemoglobin polymerization, with polymer formation occurring only in the deoxy state. ENDARI® is the first treatment approved for patients with Sickle Cell disease in almost 20 years.

Three Months of Adjuvant Therapy Adequate for Stage III Colon Cancer

July 13th, 2017

The IDEA Collaboration is a prospective, pre-planned pooled analysis of 6 concurrently conducted randomized phase III trials, which included 12,834 patients from 12 countries. They concluded that a risk-based approach has to be taken when making adjuvant chemotherapy recommendations for patients with stage III colon cancer. Three months of adjuvant chemotherapy is adequate for patients with T1-3, N1 disease. This study data was presented at 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting.

FDA Approves Subcutaneous RITUXAN® Formulation for CD20-Positive Hematologic Malignancies

July 6th, 2017

The US FDA on June 22, 2017, granted regular approval to the combination of RITUXAN® (Rituximab) and Hyaluronidase human (RITUXAN HYCELA®) for adult patients with Follicular Lymphoma, Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. This Subcutaneous formulation of RITUXAN® utilizes ENHANZE®, a drug delivery technology platform, which removes limitations on the volume of biologics and drugs that can be delivered Subcutaneously, thereby significantly reducing the time required for drug administration. The approval of RITUXAN HYCELA® was based on several randomized clinical trials that demonstrated Non-inferior pharmacokinetics of Subcutaneous RITUXAN HYCELA® compared with IV RITUXAN®, as well as comparable efficacy and safety results.