EMA Adopts a New Indication for Pembrolizumab

It is indicated in combination with carboplatin and either paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel, for the first-line treatment of metastatic squamous NSCLC

On 31 January 2019, the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA’s) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion recommending a change to the terms of the marketing authorisation for the medicinal product pembrolizumab (Keytruda).  

The marketing authorisation holder for this medicinal product is Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V.

The CHMP adopted a new indication as follows:

KEYTRUDA, in combination with carboplatin and either paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel, is indicated for the first-line treatment of metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults.

For information, the full indications for Keytruda will be as follows: 

KEYTRUDA as monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of advanced (unresectable or metastatic) melanoma in adults.

KEYTRUDA as monotherapy is indicated for the adjuvant treatment of adults with Stage III melanoma and lymph node involvement who have undergone complete resection.

KEYTRUDA as monotherapy is indicated for the first-line treatment of metastatic NSCLC in adults whose tumours express PD-L1 with a ≥50% tumour proportion score (TPS) with no EGFR or ALK positive tumour mutations.

KEYTRUDA, in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy, is indicated for the first-line treatment of metastatic non-squamous NSCLC in adults whose tumours have no EGFR or ALK positive mutations.

KEYTRUDA, in combination with carboplatin and either paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel, is indicated for the first-line treatment of metastatic squamous NSCLC in adults.

KEYTRUDA as monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC in adults whose tumours express PD-L1 with a ≥1% TPS and who have received at least one prior chemotherapy regimen. Patients with EGFR or ALK positive tumour mutations should also have received targeted therapy before receiving KEYTRUDA.

KEYTRUDA as monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma who have failed autologous stem cell transplant and brentuximab vedotin, or who are transplant-ineligible and have failed brentuximab vedotin. 

KEYTRUDA as monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma in adults who have received prior platinum-containing chemotherapy.

KEYTRUDA as monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma in adults who are not eligible for cisplatin-containing chemotherapy and whose tumours express PD L1 with a combined positive score ≥10.

KEYTRUDA as monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in adults whose tumours express PD-L1 with a ≥ 50% TPS and progressing on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy.

Detailed recommendations for the use of this product will be described in the updated summary of product characteristics, which will be published in the revised European public assessment report, and will be available in all official European Union languages after a decision on this change to the marketing authorisation has been granted by the European Commission.

Summaries of positive opinion are published without prejudice to the Commission decision, which will normally be issued 67 days from adoption of the opinion.