Merck announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to the hypoxia-inducible factor-2 alpha (HIF-2α) inhibitor MK-6482, a novel investigational candidate in Merck’s oncology pipeline, for the treatment of patients with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease-associated renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with nonmetastatic RCC tumors less than three centimeters in size, unless immediate surgery is required.
The FDA also granted orphan drug designation to MK-6482 for VHL disease. These designations are based on data from a Phase 2 trial evaluating MK-6482 in patients with VHL-associated clear cell RCC, which were presented at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.
“Merck’s diverse and expansive oncology pipeline is focused on bringing forward innovative new treatments to patients in need and continues to show important progress,” said Dr. Scot Ebbinghaus, vice president, clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories. “These designations for MK-6482 support the potential of targeting HIF-2α in certain patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease, who currently have limited treatment options and face an increased risk for benign tumors as well as several types of cancer, including renal cell carcinoma.”
The FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy designation is granted to expedite the development and review of medicines that are intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that have demonstrated preliminary clinical evidence indicating that the medicine may provide a substantial improvement over available therapy on at least one clinically significant endpoint. The FDA’s orphan drug designation is granted to medicines that are intended for the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S.
Source: Company Press Release