FDA Panel Review Of Merck/Ariad’s Sarcoma Drug Could Hinge On Clinical Significance Of Progression-Free Survival Benefit
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
The Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee will review two drugs for sarcoma indications on March 20: Merck/Ariad’s Taltorvic (ridaforolimus) and GlaxoSmithKline’s Votrient (pazopanib). With a three-week median PFS advantage in its pivotal trial, ridaforolimus could face the same questions about clinically significant benefit that led to revocation of Avastin’s metastatic breast cancer claim.
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FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee will be asked to consider a two-week median progression-free survival benefit with Merck/Ariad’s Taltorvic in the maintenance setting, and a three-month PFS advantage with GSK’s Votrient in second-line treatment.
Rather than damaging the use of progression-free survival as an endpoint in oncology clinical trials, as some have feared, the battle over Avastin’s (bevacizumab) metastatic breast cancer claim could give sponsors some clarity as to how FDA expects the magnitude of PFS benefit to be defined.
With positive signs for its stable of cancer drugs, including an imminent filing for the sarcoma candidate ridaforolimus, Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. is nearing the turning point from a development to a commercial company.