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
This section provides a brief overview of new cancer drugs or new indications approved by the FDA between September 17 and September 26, 2019.
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.
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