Published By : 07 Jun 2016 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
In the recent conference of American Society of Clinical Oncology held on Monday in Chicago, Novartis has notified that a combination of its two drugs, which were primarily prescribed for skin cancer, also works well on lung cancers. The Swiss pharmaceutical giant has said that the combination of its two drugs Mekinist and Tafinlar has shown to have shrank tumors in 63% cases of a recent trial involving 57 patients with a variety of non-small cell lung cancer. Chemotherapy had failed to work for these patients earlier.
The study demonstrated that combination led to progression-free survival rate of nearly 9.7 months. The progression free survival rate with chemotherapy is mostly in the range of two to three months.
The company has the U.S. FDA and European approvals for the drugs for skin cancer. It now aims for approval for lung cancer. A regulatory submission is expected to be filed after July for the same.
The drugs are used to treat BRAF V600 melanoma and permission is being sought for extending their use against the BRAF V600 lung cancer. BRAF V600E-mutation positive cancers are marked by a change in the body’s gene structure, helping the cancer grow and making treatment difficult even with chemotherapy. The recent study follow from the findings of an interim study involving 24 patients in the year 2015, which indicated similar results.
Only last year, Novartis’s rival company Roche had also won approval for its BRAF V600 skin cancer combination Cotellic and Zelboraf. With the positive results for lung cancer, Novartis is trying to expand the uses of the combination, in part to be different from Roche’s products.
The researchers leading the Novartis’s study have stated that the positive results confirm a potential new way to tackle aggressive lung cancer, whose patients usually have a poor diagnosis. The potential to treat the cancerous gene gives hope to a very small group of patient population, which is usually underserved. The most common side effects of the drug were diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, decreased appetite, dry skin, physical weakness, cough, rash, and abnormal chills.