18.03.2013 - After having shown an 80% response rate in lung cancer patients, the US-FDA has granted breakthrough status to Novartis’ Phase I ALK blocker LDK378.
The novel „breakthrough status“ opens up the possibility to Novartis to conduct only one instead further two clinical study phases before bringing the compound to the market. Novartis, which had already begun recruiting patients for several Phase II studies with LDK378 to improve treatment for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) mutations is slated to start phase III testing this year. The company, which started clinical testing of LDK378 in 2011, said, it plans to file for market authorisation at the beginning of 2014.
The LDK378 treatment will be made available to a subgroup of patients who did not respond sufficiently to crizotinib treatment and who suffers from limited treatment options. In a Phase I trial Novartis’ "breakthrough drug" showed 80% response rate in 88 patients with advanced ALK-positive NSCLC, which makes about 8% of all NSCLC cases. LDK378 is a highly selective inhibitor of an important cancer target, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Because it is an investigational compound, the safety and efficacy profile of LDK378 has not yet been established.
12.05.2015 US pharma is coming to European biotech to fill their pipeline. Pfizer is paying €77.5m for an option on Dutch AM-Pharma, while Juno Therapeutics acquired German biotech Stage Cell Therapeutics for around €72m.
26.05.2015 The Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea has joined the Dutch MEB in its stance on the interchangeability of biosimilars. The Fimea now sees physician-driven switching of biologics as unproblematic.
20.05.2015 The Scottish Government has announced it will double the amount of funds for rare diseases. The New Medicines Fund that was created last year for this purpose will be increased to £80m (€112m).
30.04.2015 The European Parliament has given the go-ahead on a new law limiting the use of harmful crop-based biofuel in the transport sector. The decision marks a breakthrough in the EU’s approach to biofuels.
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