British drugmaker AstraZeneca has announced that its immunotherapy cancer treatment Imfinzi has been granted a speedy review by the US medicines watchdog for the treatment of a particularly aggressive type of lung cancer. The company is quoted in Reuters Health as saying that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted its supplemental application and granted priority review to Imfinzi for the treatment of previously untreated late-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
The FDA decision is a boost for the treatment as it competes against similar medicines from rivals Merck and Roche, and follows data in September which showed Imfinzi prolonged survival in SCLC patients when used with chemotherapy.
AstraZeneca has already carved out a niche for Imfinzi, which boosts the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells, in the more common cases of non-small cell lung cancer, with an existing approval for use in situations where tumours have only spread in the chest.
The FDA in March approved Roche’s immunotherapy Tecentriq for the treatment of SCLC. Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo is also approved in cases where patients fail at least two other treatments.
[link url="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-astrazeneca-imfinzi-fda/astrazenecas-imfinzi-gets-speedy-fda-review-for-small-cell-lung-cancer-idUSKBN1Y30LJ"]Reuters Health report[/link]