The Lynx Group

FDA Approvals, News & Updates

On May 18, 2020, the FDA approved a new indication for atezolizumab (Tecentriq; Genentech), a PD-L1 inhibitor, for the first-line treatment of adults with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumor has high PD-L1 expression (PD-L1 stained ≥50% of tumor cells or PD-L1 stained tumor-infiltrating immune cells covering ≥10% of the tumor area), and no EGFR or ALK genomic aberrations, as determined by an FDA-approved test.
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On May 15, 2020, the FDA approved a new indication for the first immunotherapy combination with the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo; BMS) and the CTLA-4 inhibitor ipilimumab (Yervoy; BMS) as first-line treatment of adults with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and PD-L1 expression of ≥1%, as determined by an FDA-approved test, but without EGFR or ALK genomic alterations.
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On May 1, 2020, the FDA approved a new formulation of daratumumab (Darzalex; Janssen Biotech) and hyaluronidase-fihj (Faspro; Janssen Biotech) for the treatment of adults with newly diagnosed or with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. This new formulation allows for the subcutaneous administration of daratumumab as an alternative to its intravenous (IV) administration. The new formulation is approved for the indications previously approved for IV daratumumab.
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On April 29, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of the oral poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor niraparib (Zejula; GlaxoSmithKline) as the first and only drug approved for first-line maintenance therapy of all patients with advanced ovarian cancer—including epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer—who have had a complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy.
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On April 28, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of a new dosing regimen—400 mg every 6 weeks—for pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck) for all the 15 indications currently approved by the FDA for adults using this PD-1 inhibitor. The new dosing regimen is a new option in addition to the current dosing regimen of 200 mg every 3 weeks. This is great news for patients, as well as for oncology providers.
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On March 10, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of the immunotherapy combination of nivolumab (Opdivo; Bristol-Myers Squibb) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy; Bristol-Myers Squibb) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have previously received sorafenib. Nivolumab and ipilimumab have been previously approved by the FDA for several indications. This new indication was previously granted a breakthrough therapy designation.

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On March 2, 2020, the FDA approved isatuximab-irfc (Sarclisa; Sanofi- Aventis), a CD38-directed cytolytic antibody, for the treatment of adults with multiple myeloma, for use in combination with pomalidomide (Pomalyst) and dexamethasone, in patients who had received at least 2 therapies that include lenalidomide (Revlimid) and a proteasome inhibitor. The FDA granted isatuximab an orphan drug designation.

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On March 27, 2020, the FDA approved a new indication for the PD-L1 inhibitor durvalumab (Imfinzi; Astra- Zeneca), in combination with etoposide and either carboplatin or cisplatin, as first-line treatment of patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC). Imfinzi was previously approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with metastatic urothelial cancer and for patients with unresectable, stage III non–small-cell lung cancer. The FDA granted durvalumab an orphan drug designation for this new indication.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their physicians without having to travel to a healthcare facility. Clinicians can bill immediately for services starting March 6, 2020.
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On December 16, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication for enzalutamide (Xtandi; Astellas Pharma) for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC). Enzalutamide was previously approved for patients with castration-­resistant prostate cancer.
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