GSK makes headway with two cancer drugs after double-barrelled setback last month
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is making “significant” headway with two of its cancer drugs, following a double-barrelled setback in its oncology efforts last month.
The British pharmaceutical giant’s bone marrow cancer treatment Momelotinib this morning received marketing approval from the European Medicines Agency, following an application to the FDA in the US in August.
If approved by regulators, Momelotinib would be the first drug in Europe to treat Myelofibrosis, a more uncommon type of bone marrow cancer.
While its immuno-oncology drug Jemperli for endometrial cancera, which has scope to also be used across rectal and lung cancer by boosting the body’s immune response against cancerous cells, showed “statistically significant and clinically meaningful” in a late-stage trial, GSK also announced today.
The Big Pharma firm has previously branded Jemperli as a “backbone” drug for its emerging immuno-oncology pipeline.
GSK is hoping to combine Jemperli with its other immuno-oncology drugs, and study new ways of potentially treating cancer.
It follows a two-punch setback last month, which has put banks and investors on more cautious footing.
The London-listed drugmaker blood cancer drug, Blenrep, was pulled from the US market over safety concerns last week, in a major blow to the its reputation.
The move on the opposite side of the Atlantic is expected to send shockwaves into Europe.
Dana Gheorghe, director of oncology at pharmaceutical intelligence company Citeline said that it is “likely” the European Medicines Agency will start reviewing Blenrep’s approval “sooner rather than later – unless GSK withdraw the drug from the European market beforehand”.
Blenrep’s setback risks sowing the seed of doubt across the continent, likely troubling doctors within the bloc who may now be questioning their prescription habits.
GSK’s ovarian cancer drug Zejula also failed to exit the FDA’s hawkish scope unscathed.
The drug, which was approved as a maintenance therapy in 2017, was fitted with a narrower use label in the US a week before Blenrep was pulled from the market.