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AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi and tremelimumab granted Orphan Drug designation in the US for liver cancer

Imfinzi (durvalumab) and tremelimumab, an anti-CTLA4 antibody and potential new medicine, have both been granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) in the US for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants ODD to medicines intended for the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases or disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the US.

“Many patients with liver cancer are diagnosed and treated only after the disease is advanced, and there is an urgent need for new effective and tolerable treatments. We are eager to bring new potential options to these patients and look forward to the results of our ongoing Phase III HIMALAYA trial later this year,” says José Baselga, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca.

The Phase III HIMALAYA trial

The Phase III HIMALAYA trial is testing Imfinzi and the combination of Imfinzi plus tremelimumab in patients with unresectable, advanced HCC who have not been treated with prior systemic therapy and are not eligible for locoregional therapy (treatment localised to the liver). HIMALAYA is the first trial to test dual immune checkpoint blockade in the 1st-line advanced HCC setting.

Imfinzi isnot currently approved to treat HCC in any country, alone or in combination with tremelimumab.

Photo of José Baselga: AstraZeneca