Cascadian Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced that tucatinib, an investigational oral, small molecule kinase inhibitor that is highly selective for HER2 and the Company’s lead product in development, has been granted orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of breast cancer patients with brain metastases.
“Brain metastases arise in up to 50 percent of women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer and these metastases can compromise quality of life and survival,” explained Eric P. Winer, MD, of Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Winer’s colleague, Nancy U. Lin, MD, added, “Treatments for patients with brain metastases have been limited, and we urgently need new and more effective approaches.”
“There remains an unmet medical need for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, including patients whose disease has metastasized to the brain,” said Scott Myers, President and CEO of Cascadian Therapeutics. “New treatment options are clearly needed and tucatinib is being developed to fit within the current and emerging treatment paradigm. Our ongoing registrational trial of tucatinib known as HER2CLIMB is enrolling patients with all types of brain metastases, including untreated, previously treated stable or progressing brain metastases. Approximately half of patients enrolled in HER2CLIMB to date have had brain metastases at study entry, which will allow us to assess activity in that subpopulation in a statistically meaningful way. We are encouraged by results from our ongoing Phase 1b combination study of tucatinib plus capecitabine and/or trastuzumab, which showed a 42 percent response rate in patients with HER2-positive brain metastases.”
The FDA’s Orphan Drug Designation program provides orphan status to drugs defined as those intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Orphan designation qualifies the sponsor of the drug for certain development incentives, including tax credits for qualified clinical testing, prescription drug user fee exemption and 7-year marketing exclusivity upon FDA approval.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery