Healthcare Industry News:  breast cancer 

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology FDA

 News Release - August 3, 2016

Novartis CDK4/6 Inhibitor LEE011 (Ribociclib) Receives FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation as First-Line Treatment for HR+/HER2- Advanced Breast Cancer

EAST HANOVER, N.J., Aug. 3, 2016 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Novartis announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to LEE011 (ribociclib), in combination with letrozole, for the treatment of hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer. LEE011 is a selective cyclin dependent kinase (CDK4/6) inhibitor.

The Breakthrough Therapy designation is based primarily on positive results of the Phase III MONALEESA-2 trial of LEE011 in combination with letrozole in postmenopausal women who had received no prior therapy for their advanced disease1. The MONALEESA-2 trial met the primary endpoint of clinically meaningful improvement in progression free survival (PFS) at a pre-planned interim analysis. Results of this study will be presented at an upcoming medical congress and will form the basis of regulatory discussions in the US, Europe and other countries for use in this indication.

"Despite advancements in treatment, an estimated 40,000 individuals in the United States die each year from advanced breast cancer," said Alessandro Riva, MD, Global Head, Oncology Development and Medical Affairs, Novartis Oncology. "This designation shows the potential of LEE011, and we look forward to close collaboration with the FDA and the advanced breast cancer community to provide a new treatment option for women living with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer as quickly as possible."

Up to one-third of patients with early-stage breast cancer will subsequently develop metastatic disease2. Metastatic breast cancer is the most serious form of the disease and occurs when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain, bones or liver3. Advanced breast cancer comprises metastatic breast cancer (stage 4) and locally advanced breast cancer (stage 3)3. Survival rates for women living with advanced breast cancer are lower than those for women with earlier stage disease. The 5-year relative survival rate for stage 3 breast cancer is approximately 72%, while metastatic (stage 4) breast cancer has a 5-year relative survival rate of approximately 22%4.

According to the FDA, Breakthrough Therapy designation is intended to expedite the development and review of potential new medicines that treat serious or life-threatening conditions, if the therapy has demonstrated substantial improvement over an available therapy on at least one clinically significant endpoint. The designation includes all of the Fast Track program features, as well as more intensive FDA guidance on an efficient drug development program5.

The LEE011 Breakthrough Therapy designation marks the 11th designation the FDA has granted to Novartis since the agency initiated the program in 2013, demonstrating Novartis' commitment to developing innovative treatments for diseases with a significant unmet medical need.

About LEE011 (ribociclib)

LEE011 (ribociclib) is a selective cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor, a new class of drugs that help slow the progression of cancer by inhibiting two proteins called cyclin dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6). These proteins, when over-activated in a cell, can enable cancer cells to grow and divide too quickly.

LEE011 has been studied in non-clinical models and is currently being evaluated in combination with additional endocrine agents as part of the MONALEESA (Mammary ONcology Assessment of LEE011's Efficacy and SAfety) clinical trial program. LEE011 is not approved for any indication in any market at this time.

MONALEESA-2 is a Phase III randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, multicenter global registration trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of LEE011 in combination with letrozole compared to letrozole alone in postmenopausal women with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer who received no prior therapy for their advanced breast cancer1. MONALEESA-2 met the primary endpoint of clinically meaningful improvement in PFS at the pre-planned interim analysis and is continuing to assess overall survival data1.

MONALEESA-3 is a trial evaluating LEE011 in combination with fulvestrant compared to fulvestrant alone in men and post-menopausal women with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer who have received no or a maximum of one prior endocrine therapy. MONALEESA-3 is fully enrolled.


Source: Novartis

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