GSK’s Mekinist/Tafinlar Combo Pushes The Price Bar
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
GSK’s MEK inhibitor Mekinist and BRAF inhibitor Tafinlar are the first two targeted therapies approved in combination for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. The prices of the separate components are below other comparable oncology launches, but the combination will push the price to over $17,115 for a month of treatment.
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Submitting an NDA based on progression-free survival when other drugs for the indication have been approved on the basis of overall survival benefits is a risky proposition, but GlaxoSmithKline was confident the magnitude of Mekinist and Tafinlar’s PFS effect in metastatic melanoma would make the findings clinically relevant.
At a time when $10,000-per-month pricing is the norm in oncology, GSK has priced its just-approved BRAF inhibitor Tafinlar at $7,600, on the lower end by today’s standards. Company says it is planning to file the combination of Tafinlar with Mekinist – also just approved by FDA – in a matter of weeks in the U.S.
Melanoma therapy could take another leap forward with the development of another BRAF inhibitor, a MEK inhibitor, and late-stage trials testing combinations against both BRAF options alone.