FDA Accepts Filing of New Drug Application for Tepotinib for the Treatment of Patients with Metastatic NSCLC with METex14 Skipping Alterations
ROCKLAND, Mass., Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the US and Canada, today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted and granted Priority Review to the new drug application (NDA) for once-daily, orally-dosed tepotinib* for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have a mutation that leads to mesenchymal-epithelial transition exon 14 (METex14) skipping, as detected by an FDA-approved test. Tepotinib was granted Priority Review and is being reviewed by the FDA under its Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) pilot program, which is intended to create a more efficient review process to bring safe and effective treatments to patients as early as possible.1 Priority Review is intended to accelerate evaluation of applications for drugs that could offer improvements in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of serious conditions when compared to standard applications.2 Tepotinib was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA in September 2019 for the treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC harboring METex14 skipping alterations who progressed following platinum-based cancer therapy.
The application is based on results from the pivotal ongoing, single-arm Phase II VISION study (NCT02864992) evaluating tepotinib as monotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC with MET exon 14 (METex14) skipping alterations prospectively assessed by liquid and/or tissue biopsy. Results demonstrate consistent response rate and durable anti-tumor activity across lines of treatment including in patients with brain metastases and in patients assessed by both liquid biopsy (LBx) and tissue biopsy (TBx). Data from the primary analysis of the VISION study were published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on May 29, 2020 and presented during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program.3
"METex14 skipping alterations drive a particularly aggressive form of NSCLC in a patient population that is generally elderly, facing poor clinical prognosis and in urgent need of new therapeutic options," said Luciano Rossetti, Global Head of Research & Development for EMD Serono. "With this acceptance and review under the RTOR program, we look forward to working with FDA and to making this precision medicine available to patients in the U.S. as soon as possible."
In the US in 2020, there were approximately 228,000 new cases of lung cancer and more than 135,000 deaths from lung cancer.4 Alterations of the MET signaling pathway are found in various cancer types, including 3% to 5% of NSCLC cases, and correlate with aggressive tumor behavior and poor clinical prognosis.5-7 Patients with NSCLC harboring METex14 skipping tend to be older than those with NSCLC harboring other alterations.8 In the Phase II VISION study, the patient population is generally characterized as elderly, with a median age of 74.0 years, and as having poor clinical prognosis typical of NSCLC with METex14 skipping alterations.
In March 2020, tepotinib became the first oral MET inhibitor indicated for the treatment of advanced NSCLC harboring MET gene alterations to receive a regulatory approval globally, with the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) approval for the treatment of patients with unresectable, advanced or recurrent NSCLC with METex14 skipping alterations.
*Tepotinib is currently under clinical investigation and not yet approved in any markets outside of Japan.
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About EMD Serono, Inc.
About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark "Merck" internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company's technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.
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