Novartis has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tabrecta (capmatinib), an oral MET inhibitor for adult patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have a mutation that leads to MET exon 14 skipping (METex14) as detected by an FDA-approved test. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trial(s).
This approval fills a long-recognized and urgent need among METex14 patients who have not had a treatment option approved to specifically target the driver of their lung cancer. Tabrecta is approved for first-line and previously treated patients, regardless of prior treatment type, and is expected to be available to patients in the coming days.
The FDA also approved FoundationOne®CDx as the companion diagnostic for Tabrecta, to aid in detecting mutations that lead to MET exon 14 skipping in tumor tissue.
“Non-small cell lung cancer is a complex disease, with many different possible mutations that may encourage the cancer’s growth,” said Juergen Wolf, MD, from the Center for Integrated Oncology, University Hospital Cologne and lead investigator of the GEOMETRY study. “MET exon 14 skipping is a known oncogenic driver. With today’s decision by the FDA, we can now test for and treat this challenging form of lung cancer with a targeted therapy, offering new hope for patients with NSCLC harboring this type of mutation.”
Novartis was previously granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for capmatinib. According to FDA guidelines, treatments that receive Breakthrough Therapy Designation must target a serious or life-threatening disease and demonstrate a substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more significant preliminary research endpoints.
“Today, and especially during these difficult times, we are incredibly proud that Tabrecta is the first treatment approved by the FDA specifically to treat patients diagnosed with this aggressive NSCLC associated with METex14,” said Susanne Schaffert, PhD, President, Novartis Oncology. “In our quest to reimagine medicine, we have worked tirelessly over the past decades to advance the understanding and treatment of NSCLC, striving to make a difference in patients’ lives, one mutation at a time. We thank all the physicians, patients and families involved in the Tabrecta clinical trials, and we remain committed to advancing innovative solutions for the patients we work to serve.”
NSCLC accounts for approximately 85% of the 2 million new lung cancer diagnoses each year worldwide, including about 228,000 in the United States. Nearly 70% of NSCLC patients have a genomic mutation. METex14, a recognized oncogenic driver, occurs in approximately 3%-4% of newly diagnosed metastatic NSCLC cases (about 4,000 – 5,000 patients in the US annually).
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