FDA Specialty Approvals

All Eyes Are on Novel New Therapies, Impact of IRA, AI

The FDA approved the highest number of novel therapies in years in 2023, and multiple potential blockbusters are slated for decisions in 2024. In addition, the Inflation Reduction Act looms large over the pharma industry as HHS negotiates the prices of the initial 10 Medicare Part D agents and lawsuits over the legality of the IRA play out. And while life sciences dealmaking was down a bit in 2023, the new year already looks to be more promising. AIS Health, a division of MMIT, spoke with some industry experts about their outlook for 2024.

AIS Health: What are some pharma issues to keep an eye on in 2024, and why?

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FDA Warns on CAR-Ts, but Benefits Outweigh Risks for Now

A couple of months after the FDA revealed that it was investigating the risks of chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) immunotherapies, the agency is seeking updated language in their labels warning about those risks. However, the fact that the FDA is allowing the therapies to remain on the market suggests that their overall benefits outweigh their potential risks, says one industry expert.

In late November, the FDA revealed that it was investigating the risks of CAR-T therapies following reports of T cell malignancies in people who had undergone treatment with the agents. Less than two months later, the agency issued safety labeling change notification letters to the six available B cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed or CD-19 directed autologous CAR-Ts, which cover a range of hematologic cancers:

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FDA Approves Alzheimer’s Agent Leqembi Shortly After Release of Congressional Aduhelm Report

Less than two years after the FDA approved the first treatment for Alzheimer’s that was aimed at targeting the underlying disease process, it has approved a second similar agent. Payers are likely to cover the drug, one industry expert says, but they almost certainly will try to place restrictions on their coverage.

On Jan. 6, the FDA gave accelerated approval to Eisai Co., Ltd. and Biogen Inc.’s Leqembi (lecanemab-irmb) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in people with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia stage of disease. People must have confirmed presence of amyloid beta pathology before starting treatment. The agency gave the humanized immunoglobulin gamma 1 monoclonal antibody fast track, priority review and breakthrough therapy designations.

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New FDA Specialty Approvals

✦ July 30: The FDA granted premarket approval to Pillar Biosciences, Inc.’s ONCO/Reveal Dx Lung and Colon Cancer Assay as a companion diagnostic for all FDA-approved epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kin...
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New FDA Specialty Approvals

✦ July 9: The FDA gave an additional approval to Astellas Pharma US, Inc. and Seagen Inc.’s Padcev (enfortumab vedotin-ejfv) for the treatment of adults with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who ...
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New FDA Specialty Approvals

✦ June 7: The FDA granted another indication to Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s Ultomiris (ravulizumab-cwvz) for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) in children at least 1 month old and ad...
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New FDA Specialty Approvals

✦ May 5: The FDA granted accelerated approval to Merck & Co., Inc.’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with trastuzumab, fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy for the treatment of loca...
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New FDA Specialty Approvals

✦ May 5: The FDA granted accelerated approval to Merck & Co., Inc.’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with trastuzumab, fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy for the treatment of loca...
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New FDA Specialty Approvals

✦ April 6: The FDA approved a new dosing regimen for Eli Lilly and Co.’s Erbitux (cetuximab) of 500 mg/m2 as a 120-minute infusion every two weeks as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy for people...
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New FDA Specialty Approvals

✦ Feb. 3: The FDA gave accelerated approval to Merck KGaA unit EMD Serono, Inc.’s Tepmetko (tepotinib) for the treatment of adults with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring mesenchymal-epithel...
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