Eagle Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. FDA has granted tentative approval for its PEMFEXY, a pemetrexed injection ready-to-dilute formulation for locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer in combination with cisplatin; locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer whose disease has not progressed after four cycles of platinum-based first-line chemotherapy, as maintenance treatment; locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer after prior chemotherapy as a single agent; and malignant pleural mesothelioma whose disease is unresectable or who are otherwise not candidates for curative surgery in combination with cisplatin.
FDA tentative approval means that a drug product has met all required quality, safety and efficacy standards, but is not eligible for marketing in the U.S. because of existing patent protections. The tentative approval will be eligible for conversion to a final approval subject to the resolution of the current patent litigation between Eagle and Eli Lilly and Co.
“Our formulation does not require reconstitution, reducing the potential for dosing errors during mixing as well as the hazards of inhaling cytotoxic vapors that can occur when handling the powder form of the drug during preparation. We believe there is a need in the market for our improved formulation,” said Scott Tarriff, CEO.
This NDA references Alimta, the branded product manufactured by Eli Lilly and Co., which had annual U.S. sales of about $1 billion over the last 12 months.