Bristol-Myers Squibb and AbbVie today announced that the FDA has granted elotuzumab, an investigational humanized monoclonal antibody, Breakthrough Therapy Designation for use in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of multiple myeloma in patients who have received one or more prior therapies. The designation is based on findings from a randomized Phase 2, open-label study that evaluated two dose levels of elotuzumab in combination with lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone in previously-treated patients, including the 10 mg/kg dose that is being studied in Phase 3 trials. Data from the Phase 2 trial were most recently presented at the 18th Annual Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in 2013 (click here to view press release).
According to the FDA, Breakthrough Therapy Designation is intended to expedite the development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions. The criteria for Breakthrough Therapy Designation require preliminary clinical evidence that demonstrates the drug may have substantial improvement on at least one clinically significant endpoint over available therapy.
“Despite recent advances in the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, it remains an area of unmet need,” said Michael Giordano, senior vice president, Head of Development, Oncology & Immunosciences, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “This Breakthrough Therapy Designation underscores the potential of elotuzumab in this setting and reinforces Bristol-Myers Squibb’s longstanding commitment to the research and development of novel medicines to treat hematologic malignancies.”