Novartis got an acceptance by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Biologics License Application (BLA) for anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor tislelizumab for the treatment of unresectable recurrent locally advanced or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in people who had received prior systemic therapy.
“This is an encouraging step forward in our mission to deliver transformative therapies for people living with cancer, and especially for people with esophageal cancer, an aggressive disease with limited treatment options,” said Jeff Legos, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Oncology & Hematology Development. “We are advancing tislelizumab as a key cornerstone of our immunotherapy program and PD-1 backbone for combination therapy. We will work with regulatory authorities to ensure it is available for people with esophageal cancer as soon as possible.”
Tislelizumab is a humanized IgG4 anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody being developed both as a monotherapy and in combination with other therapies.4 The BLA submission was based on data from the Phase III RATIONALE 302 trial, which demonstrated a 30% reduction in the risk of death (HR=0.70, 95% CI: 0.57-0.85, p=0.0001) and extended median overall survival by 2.3 months compared to chemotherapy in people with unresectable recurrent locally advanced or metastatic ESCC who had received prior systemic therapy.