FDA Approvals, News & Updates

On May 1, 2020, the FDA approved a new formulation of daratumumab (Darzalex; Janssen Biotech) and hyaluronidase-fihj (Faspro; Janssen Biotech) for the treatment of adults with newly diagnosed or with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. This new formulation allows for the subcutaneous administration of daratumumab as an alternative to its intravenous (IV) administration. The new formulation is approved for the indications previously approved for IV daratumumab. Read Article ›

On April 28, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of a new dosing regimen—400 mg every 6 weeks—for pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck) for all the 15 indications currently approved by the FDA for adults using this PD-1 inhibitor. The new dosing regimen is a new option in addition to the current dosing regimen of 200 mg every 3 weeks. This is great news for patients, as well as for oncology providers. Read Article ›

On April 29, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of the oral poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor niraparib (Zejula; GlaxoSmithKline) as the first and only drug approved for first-line maintenance therapy of all patients with advanced ovarian cancer—including epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer—who have had a complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Read Article ›

On March 10, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of the immunotherapy combination of nivolumab (Opdivo; Bristol-Myers Squibb) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy; Bristol-Myers Squibb) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have previously received sorafenib. Nivolumab and ipilimumab have been previously approved by the FDA for several indications. This new indication was previously granted a breakthrough therapy designation.

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On March 2, 2020, the FDA approved isatuximab-irfc (Sarclisa; Sanofi- Aventis), a CD38-directed cytolytic antibody, for the treatment of adults with multiple myeloma, for use in combination with pomalidomide (Pomalyst) and dexamethasone, in patients who had received at least 2 therapies that include lenalidomide (Revlimid) and a proteasome inhibitor. The FDA granted isatuximab an orphan drug designation.

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Mitomycin gel (Jelmyto), an alkylating drug, is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for patients with low-grade upper-tract urothelial cancer (UTUC), a rare cancer that affects the lining of the urinary system, and offers a nonsurgical treatment alternative for patients with this rare disease. Although the majority of urothelial cancers occur in the bladder, UTUC is part of a group of urothelial cancers that arise in the lining of the kidney or the ureter. Read Article ›

On January 23, 2020, the FDA approved tazemetostat (Tazverik; Epizyme), a methyltransferase inhibitor, for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients aged ≥16 years with metastatic or locally advanced epithelioid sarcoma who are not eligible for complete resection. The FDA granted tazemetostat accelerated approval and designated it as an orphan drug. Read Article ›

On January 9, 2020, the FDA approved avapritinib (Ayvakit; Blueprint Medicines), a kinase inhibitor, for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) harboring a platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) exon 18 mutation, including PDGFRA D842V mutations. The FDA designated avapritinib as a breakthrough therapy and an orphan drug. Avapritinib was also granted Fast Track designation. Read Article ›

On January 8, 2020, the FDA approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck) for the treatment of patients with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-unresponsive, high-risk, non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer with carcinoma in situ with or without papillary tumors who are ineligible for or have elected not to undergo cystectomy. Keytruda has received previous FDA approval as a single agent or in combination with other agents for the treatment of many types of cancers. Read Article ›

On January 29, 2020, Eli Lilly announced that the FDA granted priority review to their New Drug Application for selpercatinib (LOXO-292) for the treatment of patients with advanced RET fusion-positive non–small-cell lung cancer, RET-mutant medullary thyroid cancer, and RET fusion-positive thyroid cancer. The FDA is aiming to provide its decision on the approval of selpercatinib in the third quarter of 2020. Read Article ›

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