UPDATE : Friday, December 13, 2019
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Takeda’s lung cancer drug to get insurance benefit
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.04.23 11:48
  • Updated 2019.04.23 11:48
  • comments 0

Takeda’s Alunbrig (ingredient: Brigatinib), an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive non-small cell lung cancer treatment, started to receive reimbursement from last Friday, the company said.

Takeda’s lung cancer treatment Alunbrig

Alunbrig is a treatment for patients with ALK-positive or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, who have taken crizotinib. The drug received approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2017, and the European Commission in November 2018.

Under the reimbursement plan, ALK-positive advanced NSCLC patients who have been treated with crizotinib can receive the insurance benefit.

The decision by the Ministry of Health and Welfare to reimburse the drug comes only five months after Alunbrig received sales approval, on Nov. 30, 2018. The insurance benefit is the fastest-approved case of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer treatment available for patients who have failed with crizotinib treatment.

The company has confirmed a median progression-free survival (mPFS) of 16.7 months for Alunbrig, about twice that for patients treated with conventional drug after the failure of treatment with crizotinib, through the ALTA study, a multicenter, open-label clinical trial. Such results are the longest median survival time to date among ALK-targeted clinical trials on patients with failed crizotinib treatment, Takeda Korea said.

The company also proved that Alunbrig has lower sensitivity than other treatments regarding the 17 variant genes involved in resistance to ALK-targeted therapies, including G1202R, the most challenging mutation in the treatment of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer, through a pre-clinical study.

“We are delighted to be able to reduce the economic burden of patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer who are suffering from recurrence or metastasis after treatment with crizotinib,” CEO Moon Hee-seok said. “Takeda Korea will continue to work to provide effective treatment options that will improve the quality of life and reduce the unmet medical needs of patients in a variety of chemotherapeutic areas, including ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer.”


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