Japan becomes first country to approve Roche’s alectinib for people with a specific form of advanced lung cancer
Data showed that over 90 percent of Japanese people in the study responded to treatment with alectinib
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has approved alectinib for the treatment of people living with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is anaplastic lymphoma kinase fusion gene-positive (ALK+). The approval was based on results from a Japanese Phase I/II clinical study (AF-001JP) for people whose tumours were advanced, recurrent or could not be removed completely through surgery (unresectable).
“The approval of alectinib, a treatment specifically targeted to ALK+ lung cancer, in Japan is great news for people living with this difficult to treat disease,” said Sandra Horning MD, Roche’s Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development. “Another interesting aspect of alectinib is that based on early studies it may also work in people living with tumours that have spread to the brain, a difficult area to reach with current medicines. Our research will continue in this area.”
Alectinib is expected to be made available in Japan later this year. Alectinib was also granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2013 for patients with ALK+ NSCLC who progressed on crizotinib. BTD is designed to expedite the development and review of medicines intended to treat serious diseases and to help ensure patients have access to them through FDA approval as soon as possible.
Global pivotal studies are currently ongoing which will further inform on the clinical value of alectinib in this disease setting as well as in treatment-naïve patients. The results of these studies will be used in future regulatory submissions in the US and in Europe.