The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to Tazverik (tazemetostat) for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients aged 16 years and older with metastatic (when cancer cells spread to other parts of the body) or locally advanced (when cancer has grown outside the organ it started in, but has not yet spread to distant parts of the body) epithelioid sarcoma not eligible for complete resection (surgically removing all of a tissue, structure, or organ). Epithelioid sarcoma is a rare sub-type of soft tissue sarcoma that often occurs in young adults.
The FDA granted the approval of Tazverik to Epizyme Inc.
“Epithelioid sarcoma accounts for less than one percent of all soft tissue sarcomas,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Oncologic Diseases in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Until today, there were no treatment options specifically for patients with epithelioid sarcoma. The approval of Tazverik provides a treatment option that specifically targets this disease. When we brought Tazverik’s application to the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee last month, the committee voted unanimously that the benefits of the drug outweighed the risks.”
Tazverik’s approval was based on the results of a clinical trial enrolling 62 patients with metastatic or locally advanced epithelioid sarcoma. During the clinical trial, patients received 800 milligrams (mg) of Tazverik twice a day until the disease progressed or the patient reached an unacceptable level of toxicity. Tumor response assessments were performed every eight weeks during the clinical trial. The trial measured how many patients experienced complete or partial shrinkage (by a certain amount) of their tumors during treatment (overall response rate). The overall response rate was 15%, with 1.6% of patients having a complete response and 13% having a partial response. Of the nine patients that had a response, six (67%) patients had a response lasting six months or longer.