The FDA has approved another new drug (monoclonal antibody) to treat CLL. Known as GA-101 during its clinical trials, Gazyva in concert with another drug Chlorambucil has shown improved outcomes in progression free survival (PFS), a key treatment metric. It’s also the first CLL drug approved under the new breakthrough therapy designation. You can check out the agency’s release here.
Gazyva works by helping certain cells in the immune system attack cancer cells. Gazyva is intended to be used with chlorambucil, another drug used to treat patients with CLL.
Gazyva is the first drug with breakthrough therapy designation to receive FDA approval. This designation was requested by the sponsor and granted soon after the biologic license application to support marketing approval was submitted to the FDA. The FDA can designate a drug a breakthrough therapy at the request of the sponsor if preliminary clinical evidence indicates the drug may offer a substantial improvement over available therapies for patients with serious or life-threatening diseases.
The FDA also granted Gazyva priority review because the drug demonstrated the potential to be a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness in the treatment of a serious condition. And the FDA granted Gazyva orphan product designation because it is intended to treat a rare disease.The FDA also granted Gazyva priority review because the drug demonstrated the potential to be a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness in the treatment of a serious condition. And the FDA granted Gazyva orphan product designation because it is intended to treat a rare disease.“Today’s approval represents an important new addition to the treatments for patients with CLL,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This approval reflects the promise of the Breakthrough Therapy Designation program, allowing us to work collaboratively with companies to expedite the development, review and availability of important new drugs.”Gazyva’s approval for CLL is based on a study of 356 participants in a randomized open-label multicenter trial comparing Gazyva in combination with chlorambucil to chlorambucil alone in participants with previously untreated CLL. Participants receiving Gazyva in combination with chlorambucil demonstrated a significant improvement in progression free survival: an average of 23 months compared with 11.1 months with chlorambucil alone.