FDA Approvals, News & Updates

On May 15, 2018, the FDA approved epoetin alfa-epbx (Retacrit; Pfizer) as the first biosimilar to epo­etin alfa (Epogen, Procrit; Amgen) for the treatment of anemia caused by chronic kidney disease, myelosuppressive chemotherapy, or the use of zidovudine in patients with HIV. The new biosimilar is also approved to reduce the need for allogeneic red blood cell transfusions in patients at high risk for perioperative blood loss from elective, noncardiac, nonvascular surgery.

In the FDA’s dynamic regulatory environment, the patient voice has been adopted and end points for clinical trials have evolved from overall survival to other efficacy measures. “Having multiple drugs is a good thing. Many are approved on nonsurvival end points, and they have transformed the diseases,” said Richard Pazdur, MD.
The Lynx Group is pleased to bring you the Third Annual Oncology Guide to New FDA Approvals. The goal of this Guide is to offer oncologists, pharmacists, oncology nurses, and other healthcare stakeholders a comprehensive overview of new hematology oncology drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017. This practical tool offers a quick, yet detailed, evidence-based resource for oncology providers to guide their management of patients with cancer.
In 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 46 new drugs, a 21-year high. In addition to these impressive approvals, the first-ever 3 gene therapies were also approved. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, noted that these approvals represent “a whole new scientific paradigm for the treatment of serious diseases.”
The cancer drugs included in this review were approved for the first time or received additional approvals by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2017 and are grouped here by several categories.

The FDA accelerated the approval of brigatinib (Alunbrig), a new generation of oral ALK inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC who do not tolerate or have had an inadequate response to crizotinib..

Mantle-cell lymphoma is a rare and fast-growing type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), comprising approximately ≥4% of NHL cases in the United States. Mantle-cell lymphoma most often affects men aged ≥60 years, and the key factors affecting prognosis include the patient’s age, performance status, lactate dehydrogenase levels, and white blood cell count.
Marginal-zone lymphoma (MZL) arises from B-lymphocytes in the marginal zone of lymphoid tissue. This slow-growing indolent B-cell lymphoma represents approximately 12% of all cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in adults. MZL is divided into 3 subtypes, including mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), nodal MZL, and splenic MZL. MALT lymphoma is the most common of these subtypes and occurs in the stomach, intestines, salivary glands, thyroid, eyes, and lungs. In MALT lymphoma, autoimmune processes or chronic infection cause B-cells to accumulate. Helicobacter pylori is 1 of at least 6 microbial species associated with lymphoproliferation in gastric MALT lymphoma.
Urothelial carcinoma is the primary subtype of bladder cancer, which is the sixth most common cancer in the United States. More than 79,000 cases of bladder cancer were estimated to be diagnosed, and nearly 17,000 people to die from this disease in 2017.
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