Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL) today announced that the European Commission has approved COMETRIQ® (cabozantinib) for the treatment of adult patients with progressive, unresectable locally advanced or metastatic medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). The European Commission granted conditional marketing authorization following a positive opinion from the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) issued in December 2013. Similar to another drug approved in this setting, the approved indication states that for patients in whom Rearranged during Transfection (RET) mutation status is not known or is negative, a possible lower benefit should be taken into account before individual treatment decisions.
"We are pleased that physicians who treat patients with progressive, unresectable locally advanced or metastatic MTC in the European Union will now have COMETRIQ as a treatment option," said Michael Morrissey, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Exelixis. "This patient population is in need of new therapies, and we believe that COMETRIQ provides an important new option for these patients."
Additionally, the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) during its January 2014 meeting reviewed the designation for COMETRIQ (cabozantinib) as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of medullary thyroid carcinoma and recommended maintenance of orphan drug designation at the time of marketing authorization.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved COMETRIQ for the treatment of progressive, metastatic MTC in the United States on November 29, 2012. The approvals of COMETRIQ in both the United States and the European Union were based on data from EXAM, the international, multi-center, randomized double-blinded controlled phase 3 clinical trial conducted in 330 patients with progressive, unresectable locally advanced or metastatic MTC, in which cabozantinib met its primary efficacy endpoint of improving progression-free survival (PFS) as compared to placebo. Please see Important Safety Information for COMETRIQ, including Boxed Warnings, below.
Pursuant to the terms of a commercialization and distribution agreement between Exelixis and Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) signed in February 2013, Sobi will support the commercialization of COMETRIQ in the European Union for the approved indication through the end of 2015.