Merck announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted and granted priority review for a new supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for KEYTRUDA, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with platinum and fluoropyrimidine based chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic carcinoma of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction (GEJ).
This sBLA is based on data from the pivotal Phase 3 KEYNOTE-590 trial, in which KEYTRUDA plus chemotherapy demonstrated significant improvements in the primary endpoints – overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) – versus chemotherapy in these patients regardless of PD-L1 expression status and tumor histology. These data were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020. The FDA has set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), or target action, date of April 13, 2021.
“Patients with newly diagnosed esophageal and GEJ cancer face an aggressive disease with a poor prognosis, despite the currently available treatment options,” said Dr. Vicki Goodman, vice president, clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories. “We look forward to working with the FDA to bring a new option to patients in the first-line setting.”
KEYTRUDA is currently approved in the U.S., China and Japan as monotherapy for the second-line treatment of patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus whose tumors express PD-L1 (Combined Positive Score [CPS] ≥10). Merck is continuing to study KEYTRUDA across multiple settings and stages of gastrointestinal cancer – including gastric, hepatobiliary, esophageal, pancreatic, colorectal and anal cancers – through its broad clinical program.
Source: Company Press Release