Switzerland’s Novartis Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement with Japanese firm Eisai’s US subsidiary to co-promote Lenvima (lenvatinib) capsules in combination with everolimus, to treat patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following one prior anti-angiogenic therapy.
Everolimus is sold by Novartis in the market as Afinitor tablets.
On 13 May, Lenvima was granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in combination with everolimus for this indication.
RCC is a common type of kidney cancer usually found in adults and accounts for 90% of malignant kidney tumours.
Two main molecular pathways that are involved in the progression of advanced RCC include the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway.
The major goal of treating RCC is to block the growth of this malignant kidney tumour in the patient for as long as possible.
Lenvima targets the VEGF pathway, while everolimus targets the mTOR pathway.
Novartis oncology president Bruno Strigini said: "The goal of this collaboration is to inform physicians that they have a new breakthrough treatment option, which simultaneously blocks two key pathways in advanced renal cell carcinoma.
"Novartis oncology’s long experience in RCC, coupled with Eisai’s equal commitment to cancer patients offers a combination of expertise we believe will be a positive force for the RCC community."
Under the deal, the two companies will, in collaboration, promote the availability of this combination regimen to appropriate healthcare professionals across the country.
Novartis and Eisai will also participate in some joint medical affairs activities in order to enable appropriate medical use of and medical education regarding the combination.
Image: Micrograph of a renal cell carcinoma. Photo: courtesy of Nephron.