Merck and Endocyte Announce European CHMP Positive Opinions for VYNFINIT® (vintafolide) and Companion Imaging Agents FOLCEPRI® (etarfolatide) and NEOCEPRI® (Intravenous (IV) folic acid) in Patients with Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer
"Vintafolide is a folate receptor targeted agent, and if approved, would
be the first oncology therapeutic to employ an imaging agent as a
companion diagnostic for patient selection," said
Vintafolide is proposed for use in combination with PLD for the treatment of adult patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer who express the folate receptor on all target lesions. Folate receptor status should be assessed by a diagnostic medicinal product approved for the selection of adult patients for treatment with vintafolide, using Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) imaging, in combination with Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Etarfolatide and IV folic acid are medicinal products proposed for diagnostic use only. Etarfolatide, following radiolabelling with sodium pertechnetate (99mTc) solution, is proposed for SPECT imaging in combination with CT or MRI, for the selection of adult patients for treatment with vintafolide. Intravenous folic acid would be administrated prior to 99mTc-etarfolatide for the enhancement of SPECT image quality.
The applications for Conditional Marketing Authorisation for vintafolide, etarfolatide and IV folic acid were submitted based on results in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients who express the folate receptor on all target lesions as evaluated in the PRECEDENT Phase 2 study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00722592).
About vintafolide, etarfolatide and IV folic acid
Vintafolide is an investigational conjugate of folic acid (vitamin B9) linked to an anti-cancer agent, the potent vinca alkaloid desacetylvinblastine hydrazide (DAVLBH). Since cancer cells generally consume higher levels of folate than normal cells to fuel their growth, some cancer cell types - including ovarian - have high concentrations of the folate receptor on their surface. Vintafolide is designed to selectively target the folate receptor to deliver the anti-cancer agent to the cancerous tissue. Tumors that have high concentrations of the folate receptor are identified by etarfolatide, a non-invasive imaging diagnostic agent. Intravenous folic acid is used with 99mTc-etarfolatide for the enhancement of image quality.
Vintafolide, etarfolatide and IV folic acid have been granted orphan
drug status by the EMA.
About Folate Receptor-Positive Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer
In 2012, it was estimated that there would be over 40,000 new cases of
ovarian cancer in the
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VYNFINIT® is a registered trademark of
FOLCEPRI® and NEOCEPRI® are registered trademarks of Endocyte, Inc.
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