Four new U.S. drug approvals, one accelerated for need, have handed a string of year-end victories to five drugmakers, marking an unusually active start to a week full of global holiday celebrations. Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd., Astrazeneca plc, Eisai Inc., Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc. and Allergan plc all secured new approvals from the agency. Daiichi's Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan), the subject of a $6.9 billion deal with Astrazeneca, won accelerated approval for the third-line treatment of adults with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. Eisai's Dayvigo (lemborexant) was approved to treat insomnia. Intra-Cellular's Caplyta (lumateperone) was approved to treat schizophrenia. Allergan’s Ubrelvy (ubrogepant) became the first of a relatively new class of drugs to be approved for the acute treatment of migraine.
Following lengthy consultations with industry, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has released its new regulatory framework for in vitro companion diagnostics (IVD CDx) that becomes effective in February. Until now, Australia did not have a framework for CDx.
While Ebola virus disease in the U.S. is a rare occurrence, the FDA approval of Merck & Co. Inc.’s Ervebo, the agency’s first for preventing Ebola Zaire virus in people age 18 and older, will have a ripple effect across the world, especially Africa where its effects have been devastating for decades. Stockpiling such a vaccine is crucial to world safety as Ebola has long been a potential bioterrorism threat, especially after 9/11. In the world of theoretical biological warfare, where the virus could be weaponized and disseminated by aerosol, Ebola virus is considered the most dangerous, with fatality rates estimated between 25% to 90%.
Gainesville, Fla.-based startup Etectrx Inc. has secured an FDA clearance for its ingestible event marker system, the ID-Cap system. The startup is following in the footsteps of Redwood City, Calif.-based Proteus Digital Health Inc., which pioneered the category.
A mere 26 months after the first patient was enrolled in its pivotal phase II study and about three months ahead of its PDUFA date, the FDA granted accelerated approval for Padcev (enfortumab vedotin-ejfv) to treat adults with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who have previously received a PD-1/L1 inhibitor and a platinum-containing chemotherapy before (neoadjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery or in a locally advanced or metastatic setting.
Though they made known their reservations about the patient sample size and queried front-line vs. second-line use of tazemetostat, members of the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) voted 11-0 to recommend approval of the oral, first-in-class EZH2 inhibitor from Cambridge, Mass.-based Epizyme Inc.
With two FDA meetings in its hip pocket to discuss maralixibat for treating pruritus associated with Alagille syndrome, Mirum Pharmaceuticals Inc. got a resounding boost from the market Monday as its stock (NASDAQ:MIRM) closed up 111%, at $17.28.