A collection of recently published news items.
The first two cancer biosimilars are now being sold in the United States: bevacizumab-awwb (Mvasi; Amgen/Allergan), a biosimilar of the angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab (Avastin; Genentech), and trastuzumab-anns (Kanjinti; Amgen/Allergan), a biosimilar of the HER2-targeted agent trastuzumab (Herceptin; Genentech). They cost about 12% to 13% less than their reference products.
Researchers concluded that Janssen's erdafitinib (Balversa) may be effective for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who have an FGFR3 or FGFR2 mutation and have not responded to platinum-containing chemotherapy (N Engl J Med 2019;381:338–48). In the phase II BLC2001 trial, 99 patients had an objective response rate of 40% and a median overall survival of 13.8 months.
AbbVie announced that it acquired the biopharmaceutical company Mavupharma for an undisclosed amount. The deal will give AbbVie access to Mavupharma's pipeline of cancer therapies, which target the STING immune pathway—including MAVU-104, a small-molecule inhibitor of ENPP1.
Germline BRCA2 mutations may be associated with an increased risk of NHL in children and adolescents (JAMA Oncol 2019 Jul 25 [Epub ahead of print]). Researchers analyzed whole-genome sequencing data from 1,380 survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma and NHL, and 59,345 healthy controls. They found that the 565 survivors of NHL were significantly more likely to have BRCA2 mutations than healthy controls.
The World Health Organization added 12 cancer drugs to its list of essential medicines, including the PD-1 inhibitors pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck) and nivolumab (Opdivo; Bristol-Myers Squibb) for advanced melanoma (https://www.who.int/medicines/en/).
The Biden Cancer Initiative has suspended operations indefinitely in response to former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential run. Biden started the nonprofit 2 years ago after the creation of the federally funded Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot. The organization facilitated collaboration among researchers, companies, and patient groups.
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