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Roche's Alecensa wins EU panel's nod against mutated lung cancer

From Reuters - October 13, 2017

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roches Alecensa has been recommended for approval in Europe as a first-line treatment for mutated lung cancer, a key European Medicines Agency (ESA) experts panel said on Friday.

Alecensa is among new drugs Roche is counting on to help offset patent declines for its older medicines. Zuercher Kantonalbank analyst Michael Nawrath estimates annual sales of Alecensa will hit 1.4 billion Swiss francs ($1.43 billion) by 2024 and capture about 70 percent of the market.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) backed Alecensa for adults as an initial monotherapy against ALK positive non-small cell lung cancer.

The European Commission, which must issue final approval, usually follows the CHMPs recommendations.

Patients taking the targeted lung cancer drug have a far lower risk of their disease spreading in the brain than those on Pfizers Xalkori, the current standard of care, according to clinical trial data.

Alecensa was previously approved to treat lung cancer in patients who had failed other treatments.

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