EMA Advisory Committee Recommends New Use for AbbVie, J&J Cancer Drug
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Janssen-Cilag International NV reports hat the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion, recommending broadening the existing marketing authorization for ibrutinib as a single agent for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

Ibrutinib is approved for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), or adult patients with CLL who have received at least one prior therapy, or in first line in the presence of 17p deletion or TP53 mutation (genetic mutations typically associated with poor treatment outcomes) in patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy and in adult patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) who have received at least one prior therapy, or in first line treatment for patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy.

The CHMP decision follows the US Food and Drug Administration decision in March 2016, to approve the expanded use of ibrutinib capsules for treatment-naïve patients with CLL.

Ibrutinib is a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, which works by forming a strong covalent bond with BTK to block the transmission of cell survival signals within the malignant B cells. By blocking this BTK protein, ibrutinib helps kill and reduce the number of cancer cells. It also slows down the progression of the cancer.

Ibrutinib is currently approved in Europe for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory MCL; adult patients with CLL who have received at least one prior therapy, or in first line patients with CLL in the presence of 17p deletion or TP53 mutation in patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy; and in adult patients with WM who have received at least one prior therapy, or in first line treatment for patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy. Regulatory approval for additional uses has not yet been granted. Investigational uses for ibrutinib, alone and in combination with other treatments, are underway in several blood cancers.

Ibrutinib is co-developed by Cilag GmbH International, a member of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, and Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company. Janssen affiliates market ibrutinib in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) as well as the rest of the world, except in the United States, where Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Pharmacyclics co-market it. Janssen and Pharmacyclics are continuing an extensive clinical development program for ibrutinib, including Phase III study commitments in multiple patient populations.

Source: Johnson & Johnson

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