Novartis wins USFDA approval for first PI3K inhibitor for breast cancer
The efficacy of Piqray was studied in the SOLAR-1 trial, a randomized trial of 572 postmenopausal women and men with HR-positive, HER2-negative, advanced or metastatic breast cancer whose cancer had progressed while on or after receiving an aromatase inhibitor. Results from the trial showed the addition of Piqray to fulvestrant significantly prolonged progression-free survival (median of 11 months vs. 5.7 months) in patients whose tumours had a PIK3CA mutation.
Commenting on the approval, Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said, “Piqray is the first PI3K inhibitor to demonstrate a clinically meaningful benefit in treating patients with this type of breast cancer. The ability to target treatment to a patient’s specific genetic mutation or biomarker is becoming increasingly common in cancer treatment, and companion diagnostic tests assist oncologists in selecting patients who may benefit from these targeted treatments.”
“For this approval, we employed some of our newer regulatory tools to streamline reviews without compromising the quality of our assessment. This drug is the first novel drug approved under the Real-Time Oncology Review pilot program. We also used the updated Assessment Aid, a multidisciplinary review template that helps focus our written review on critical thinking and consistency and reduces time spent on administrative tasks,” Pazdur added.
Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body (most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain). When breast cancer is hormone-receptor-positive, patients may be treated with anti-hormonal treatment (also called endocrine therapy), alone or in combination with other medicines, or chemotherapy.
The FDA also approved the companion diagnostic test, therascreen PIK3CA RGQ PCR Kit, to detect the PIK3CA mutation in a tissue and/or a liquid biopsy. Patients who are negative by the therascreen test using the liquid biopsy should undergo tumour biopsy for PIK3CA mutation testing.
Common side effects of Piqray are high blood sugar levels, increase in creatinine, diarrhea, rash, decrease in lymphocyte count in the blood, elevated liver enzymes, nausea, fatigue, low red blood cell count, increase in lipase (enzymes released by the pancreas), decreased appetite, stomatitis, vomiting, weight loss, low calcium levels, aPTT prolonged (blood clotting taking longer to occur than it should), and hair loss.
Health care professionals are advised by USFDA to monitor patients taking Piqray for severe hypersensitivity reactions (intolerance). Patients are warned of potentially severe skin reactions (rashes that may result in peeling and blistering of the skin or mucous membranes like the lips and gums).
"Health care professionals are advised not to initiate treatment in patients with a history of severe skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, erythema multiforme, or toxic epidermal necrolysis. Patients on Piqray have reported severe hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), and the safety of Piqray in patients with Type 1 or uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes has not been established. Before initiating treatment with Piqray, health care professionals are advised to check fasting glucose and HbA1c and to optimize glycemic control," states USFDA.
Moreover, patients should be monitored for pneumonitis/interstitial lung disease (inflammation of lung tissue) and diarrhoea during treatment. Piqray must be dispensed with a patient Medication Guide that describes important information about the drug’s uses and risks.
The FDA granted this application Priority Review designation. The FDA granted approval of Piqray to Novartis. The FDA granted approval of the therascreen PIK3CA RGQ PCR Kit to QIAGEN Manchester, Ltd.