News Briefs: Covis Pharma to Pull Makena
Covis Pharma Group said on March 7 that it will voluntarily stop selling Makena (hydroxyprogesterone caproate), a drug that aims to reduce preterm births and that has become a flashpoint in the debate over the FDA’s accelerated approval pathway. Makena was granted accelerated approval in 2011, but subsequent clinical trials failed to demonstrate its effectiveness, leading FDA advisers last fall to recommend withdrawing the drug from the market. “While we stand by Makena’s favorable benefit-risk profile, including its efficacy in women at highest risk of preterm birth, we are seeking to voluntarily withdraw the product and work with the FDA to effectuate an orderly wind-down,” Covis Chief Innovation Officer Raghav Chari, Ph.D., said in a statement. The move comes ahead of an anticipated final decision on Makena’s status by FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and Chief Scientist Namandjé Bumpus.