Roche gets FDA approval for Alecensa in early lung cancer

This approval helps address an urgent unmet need, with about half of people living with early-stage NSCLC experiencing disease recurrence

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New Delhi: Roche announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Alecensa (alectinib) for adjuvant treatment following tumour resection for patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (tumours ≥ 4 cm or node positive), as detected by an FDA-approved test.
Alecensa is now the first and only ALK inhibitor approved for people with ALK-positive early-stage NSCLC who have undergone surgery to remove their tumour.
“With an unprecedented 76% reduction in the risk of disease recurrence or death versus chemotherapy, Alecensa significantly improves upon the standard of care for people with early-stage ALK-positive lung cancer,” said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., Roche’s Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development. “At Roche, our goal is to give patients the best chance of cure by bringing effective, targeted treatments to early-stage disease before their cancer has spread. This approval brings us one step closer to achieving that mission.”
“The approval of Alecensa marks a pivotal moment for people newly diagnosed with early-stage ALK-positive lung cancer, who until now, were not able to receive ALK-specific therapy,” said Ken Culver, Director of Research and Clinical Affairs at ALK Positive, Inc. “These patients, who are typically diagnosed at a younger age, often face recurrence and have a higher risk of developing brain metastases than those with other types of NSCLC. Now, with this significant advance, it is more important than ever that all people diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer undergo testing for ALK and other recommended biomarkers to receive the treatment most appropriate for them.”
The approval is based on positive results from the Phase III ALINA study that demonstrated Alecensa reduced the risk of disease recurrence or death by 76% compared with platinum-based chemotherapy in people with completely resected IB ALK-positive NSCLC.1 In an exploratory analysis, an improvement of central nervous system (CNS) disease-free survival was observed.
Alecensa is a kinase inhibitor currently approved as first- and second-line treatment for ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC.