FDA approves Novartis Piqray® - for patients with a PIK3CA mutation in HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer

  • Posted on: 27 May 2019
  • By: PharmaTutor News

 

Novartis announced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Piqray (alpelisib, formerly BYL719) in combination with fulvestrant for the treatment of postmenopausal women, and men, with hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 negative (HR+/HER2-), PIK3CA-mutated, advanced or metastatic breast cancer, as detected by an FDA-approved test following progression on or after an endocrine-based regimen.

PIK3CA is the most commonly mutated gene in HR+/HER2- breast cancer; approximately 40% of patients living with HR+/HER2- breast cancer have this mutation. PIK3CA mutations are associated with tumor growth, resistance to endocrine treatment and a poor overall prognosis. Piqray targets the effect of PIK3CA mutations and may help overcome endocrine resistance in HR+ advanced breast cancer. 

"The FDA approval of Piqray, which was discovered at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, marks the first ever treatment specifically for HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer with a PIK3CA mutation. We are proud to offer a new treatment option that specifically addresses the needs of the patients living with this mutation," said Susanne Schaffert, PhD, CEO, Novartis Oncology. "We are grateful to our researchers' bold and unrelenting pursuit of a first-in-class treatment for this incurable disease, and to the patients, investigators and administrators who participated in the clinical trials leading to this remarkable.

FDA approval is based on results of the Phase III trial, SOLAR-1, that showed Piqray plus fulvestrant nearly doubled median progression-free survival (PFS) compared to fulvestrant alone in HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer patients with a PIK3CA mutation (median PFS 11.0 months vs 5.7 months; HR=0.65, 95% CI: 0.50-0.85; p<0.001. Piqray provided consistent PFS results across pre-specified subgroups, including among patients previously treated with a CDK4/6 inhibitor .

Overall response rate (ORR), an indicator of the proportion of patients who experience at least a 30% reduction in overall tumor size (in patients with measurable disease), was more than doubled when Piqray was added to fulvestrant in patients with a PIK3CA mutation, (ORR= 35.7% vs 16.2% for fulvestrant alone, p=0.0002). Piqray and its associated companion diagnostic test from QIAGEN N.V. was the first combination product approved under the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence Real-Time Oncology Review pilot program.

"Today's approval is expected to change the way we practice medicine in advanced breast cancer. For the first time, physicians can test for PIK3CA biomarkers and develop a treatment plan based on the genomic profile of a patient's cancer," said Fabrice André, MD, PhD, research director and head of INSERM Unit U981, professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, and global SOLAR-1 principal investigator. "In the SOLAR-1 Phase III trial, alpelisib plus fulvestrant nearly doubled median PFS and more than doubled overall response rate in patients with a PIK3CA mutation, offering them new hope for longer life without progression."

Patients with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer can be selected for treatment with Piqray based on the presence of PIK3CA mutations. Concurrent with the approval of Piqray, the therascreen®* PIK3CA companion diagnostic test from QIAGEN was also approved by the FDA and is now available for patient testing. 

"If you are facing a complex disease like metastatic breast cancer, you want to follow a path that is specific to your type of disease," said Shirley Mertz, President, Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. "Finding the right treatment team and getting the right tests, like testing for the PIK3CA mutation, will help your healthcare team identify accurate, precise treatment options for your disease." 

Novartis is committed to providing patients with access to medicines, as well as resources and support to address a range of needs. The Novartis Oncology Patient Support Program is available to help guide eligible patients through the various aspects of getting started on treatment, from providing educational information to helping them understand their insurance coverage and identify potential financial assistance options.

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