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Takeda's Alunbrig topples Pfizer's Xalkori in ALK-positive lung cancer

Published on 27/07/18 at 09:48am

Takeda has unveiled new Phase 3 data showing that its tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) Alunbrig (brigatinib) not only met its primary endpoint, but also proved superior to Pfizer’s Xalkori (crizotinib) in improving progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had not received a prior ALK inhibitor.

The study involved 275 patients with ALK+ locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC who have not received prior treatment with an ALK inhibitor, with each participant receiving either Alunbrig 180mg once-daily, or Xlkori 90mg with a seven day lead-in.

Alunbrig was originally developed by Ariad Pharmaceuticals, and this new success vindicates Takeda’s acquisition of the company for $5.2 billion last year.

“This represents a major milestone for the Alunbrig programme. Our goal with Alunbrig is to improve the lives of patients with ALK+ NSCLC by furthering the available therapeutic options,” said Dr Jesús Gomez-Navarro, Vice President, Head of Oncology Clinical Research and Development at Takeda. “We are encouraged by the data, which demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival versus crizotinib in patients with ALK+ advanced NSCLC, and look forward to beginning discussions with regulatory authorities as we seek to expand Alunbrig’s indication into the frontline setting.”

While Takeda did not reveal specifics on exactly how Alunbrig bested its rival at Pfizer, the company confirmed that the full results will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.

Matt Fellows

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