FDA approves Novartis’s Pluvicto for Treatment of Advanced Prostate CancerMarch 24, 2022
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Novartis’s Pluvicto (lutetium Lu 177 vipivotide tetraxetan) for the treatment of adult patients with a certain type of advanced cancer called prostate-specific membrane antigen–positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (PSMA-positive mCRPC) that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). These patients have already been treated with other anticancer treatments (androgen receptor pathway inhibition and taxane-based chemotherapy).
“The approval of Pluvicto is an important clinical advancement for people with progressing mCRPC, as it can significantly improve survival rates for those who have limited treatment options,” said Oliver Sartor, MD, Medical Director at Tulane Cancer Center. “Pluvicto is a step forward in the evolution of precision medicine for prostate cancer.”
Pluvicto is the first FDA-approved targeted radioligand therapy (RLT) for eligible patients with mCRPC that combines a targeting compound (ligand) with a therapeutic radioisotope (a radioactive particle). Pluvicto is expected to be available to physicians and patients within weeks, Novartis said in its press release.
The FDA has also approved Locametz (kit for the preparation of gallium Ga 68 gozetotide injection). After radiolabeling, this imaging agent may be used to identify PSMA-positive lesions in adult patients with mCRPC through a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Gallium-68 labeled Locametz can identify tumor lesions expressing the PSMA biomarker and locate where in the body tumors may have spread (eg, in soft tissue, lymph nodes, or bone), identifying patients eligible for targeted treatment with Pluvicto. PSMA is highly expressed in more than 80 percent of patients with prostate cancer, making it an important phenotypic biomarker for assessing the progression of metastatic prostate cancer. Locametz is expected to be available to physicians and patients within weeks, the company said.
“With our unique strategy to tackle cancer by leveraging four therapeutic platforms, I am thrilled that with Pluvicto, we are bringing the targeted RLT platform to bear for treating eligible patients with mCRPC,” said Susanne Schaffert, PhD, President, Novartis Oncology. “Today’s approval builds upon our history in prostate cancer, a devastating disease where we believe our innovation can make a meaningful difference to patients.”
FDA approval of Pluvicto is based on the results of the Phase III VISION trial which demonstrated that PSMA-positive mCRPC patients previously treated with androgen receptor (AR) pathway inhibition and taxane-based chemotherapy who received Pluvicto plus standard of care (SOC) had improved overall survival compared to SOC alone. Participants treated with Pluvicto plus SOC had a 38% reduction in risk of death and a statistically significant reduction in the risk of radiographic disease progression or death (rPFS) compared to SOC alone. Interpretation of the magnitude of the rPFS effect was limited due to a high degree of censoring from early drop out in the control arm, the company said.
In addition, about a third (30%) of patients with evaluable disease at baseline demonstrated an overall response (per RECIST 1.1) with Pluvicto plus SOC, compared to 2% in the SOC alone arm. The most common adverse events (all grades) in the Pluvicto arm of the study were fatigue (43%), dry mouth (39%), nausea (35%), anemia (low red blood cell counts) (32%), decreased appetite (21%), and constipation (20%).
“Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in Americans with a prostate gland. Although the treatment landscape for mCRPC continues to evolve, there is a high unmet need for additional precision medicine treatment options to improve outcomes for these patients,” said Jamie Bearse, CEO and President at ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer. “The approval of Pluvicto offers new hope to the mCRPC community.”
Pluvicto and Locametz are registered products of Advanced Accelerator Applications, the radioligand business of Novartis, approved in the United States for physicians to prescribe to appropriate patients.