The FDA Just Approved a Drug That Targets Cancers Based on DNA, Rather Than Where the Tumor Is in Your Body
The FDA just approved a new cancer treatment in an unconventional way: not by tumor type, but rather by the genetic mutation the drug targets. The drug, Vitrakvi, was developed by Loxo Oncology in partnership with pharma giant Bayer. It’s only the second time the FDA has approved a cancer drug’s use based on a certain mutation rather than a particular tumor type.
It’s only the second time the FDA has approved a cancer drug’s use based on a certain mutation rather than a particular tumor type. The Food and Drug Administration just took an unconventional approach to approving a new cancer drug. The drug, Vitrakvi, was developed by Loxo Oncology.
It’s the company’s first drug to get approved. Loxo’s approach is to develop drugs that act on cancerous genetic mutations rather than the type of cancer a person has.
For example, Vitrakvi, has been tested in patients with lung, colon, breast and thyroid cancer among others. In 2017, the drugmaker struck a $1.5 billion deal with pharma giant Bayer to commercialize and develop two of Loxo’s drugs, including Vitrakvi. Building a treatment that’s specific to a genetic mutation is a new approach to treating cancer.
Most companies develop treatments for specific types of cancer, like lung cancer or melanoma, and seek approval just for that one kind of tumor at first, before setting up more trials to see how the drug does in other types of cancer.