publication date: Oct. 13, 2017

Conversation with the Cancer Letter Lemery: “We saw consistent evidence of the drug’s response in multiple tumor types”

Steven Lemery

Associate director

Division of Oncology Products 2, FDA Office of Hematology and Oncology Products

StevenLemery

 

The application for approval of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was based on internal discussions within FDA as well as working “proactively with the sponsor to submit this application,” said Steven Lemery, associate director, Division of Oncology Products 2, FDA Office of Hematology and Oncology Products.

The agency decided against taking the application to the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee, Lemery said.

“For this approval, 1) we saw consistent evidence of the drug’s response in multiple tumor types 2) the underlying science for how to target this biomarker was demonstrated, and 3) patients with this genetic feature (MSI-H and mismatch-repair deficiency) had a lack of approved therapeutic options available,” he said. “Furthermore, pembrolizumab had already been approved for multiple other cancer indications; therefore, sufficient safety data already existed as well as an understanding of the efficacy of this class of checkpoint inhibitors.”

However, the agency decided to write a “perspective” piece in the New England Journal of Medicine … Continue reading Lemery: “We saw consistent evidence of the drug’s response in multiple tumor types”

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