CAMBRIDGE, MA — Foundation Medicine, Inc. announced on Feb. 21 that it received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for FoundationOne CDx to be used as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with Microsatellite Instability High (MSI-H) status solid tumors who may be appropriate for treatment with Merck’s KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab). FoundationOne CDx is the first and only FDA-approved companion diagnostic to aid in identifying patients with MSI-H solid tumors for whom treatment with KEYTRUDA may be appropriate.
In tumors that are defined as MSI-H, the DNA repair mechanisms are faulty, and as a result, tumor cells can acquire a significant number of mutations that can make them recognizable by the immune system. MSI-H status is more commonly found in colorectal, endometrial, and gastrointestinal cancers, but it can also be seen in other types of cancer.1 KEYTRUDA was granted accelerated approval to treat certain patients with MSI-H solid tumors in May 2017, making it the first targeted therapy approved to treat patients based on a genomic signature, instead of where the tumor originated in the body.
“Immunotherapy has huge promise as a potential treatment option for patients with advanced cancer; however, identifying those who may benefit is complex and requires high-quality diagnostics,” said Mia Levy, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Foundation Medicine. “Not only could this approval allow more patients to benefit from KEYTRUDA, but it also underscores an important shift toward tumor-agnostic cancer care.”
Foundation Medicine is committed to providing oncologists and patients with the insights they need to make informed treatment decisions. This FDA approval of FoundationOne CDx to identify patients with MSI-H solid tumors, and its previous approval of the test to identify patients with TMB-H solid tumors who may benefit from treatment with KEYTRUDA, reinforces the assay’s analytical and clinical validity for guiding immunotherapy treatment decisions and therapy development. This is the third tumor agnostic companion diagnostic approval for FoundationOne CDx, which now has 26 companion diagnostic claims and two group claims across 27 targeted therapies.
“We’re proud to see this collaboration with Foundation Medicine, which drew on the deep scientific expertise of both organizations, result in another companion diagnostic approval for use in identifying patients who may be appropriate for KEYTRUDA,” said Eric Rubin, senior vice president, early-stage development, clinical oncology, Merck Research Laboratories.
- National Cancer Institute. “MSI-H Cancer.” https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/msi-h-cancer
– This press release was provided by Foundation Medicine