FDA approves Zelboraf for Erdheim-Chester Disease

6 Nov 2017

Zelboraf is the first FDA-approved treatment for Erdheim-Chester disease ECD, a rare blood disease.

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has announced that the FDA has approved Zelboraf (vemurafenib) for Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD) with BRAF V600 mutation. ECD is a rare, serious blood disease characterized by the abnormal multiplication of certain white blood cells called histiocytes, which can invade normal tissues and organs in the body.

FDA approves Zelboraf for Erdheim-Chester Disease

The approval is based on data from the Phase II VE-BASKET study. Basket studies use an innovative clinical trial design that helps collect data faster and may accelerate the development of medicines for diseases with high unmet need. Instead of enrolling people based primarily on their disease or its location, basket studies match a disease’s underlying genetic profile to the mechanism of action of the medicine.

“This FDA decision means people living with Erdheim-Chester disease will now, for the first time, have an FDA-approved treatment option,” said Sandra Horning, chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “We are committed to finding new ways to bring medicines to patients with high unmet need, and we are pleased that this innovative clinical trial helped identify Zelboraf for treatment of this rare disease.”

“The Erdheim-Chester disease community is very encouraged by this first FDA-approved treatment for ECD, bringing new hope to patients and their families,” said Kathleen Brewer, president of ECD Global Alliance. “This new treatment option shows that meaningful breakthroughs can occur rapidly when patients, families, research physicians, industry and the FDA work together to help patients.”

Final results of VE-BASKET for the 22 people with ECD showed a best overall response rate of 54.5%. The most common Grade 3 or higher adverse events were new skin cancers, high blood pressure, rash and joint pain. The most common adverse events were joint pain, rash, hair loss, fatigue, change in heart rhythm and skin tags.

Zelboraf monotherapy was approved for the treatment of people with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with BRAF V600E mutation in 2011. The FDA previously granted Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Zelboraf for ECD with BRAF V600 mutation.

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