Sanofi skin cancer treatment Libtayo® gets FDA approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwlc) for the treatment of patients with a type of skin cancer called metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) or locally advanced CSCC who are not candidates for curative surgery or curative radiation.

Libtayo is a fully-human monoclonal antibody targeting the immune checkpoint receptor PD-1 (programmed cell death protein-1) and is the first and only treatment specifically approved and available for advanced CSCC in the U.S.

CSCC is the second most common form of skin cancer and is responsible for an estimated 7,000 deaths each year in the U.S. It currently accounts for approximately 20 % of all skin cancers in the U.S., with the number of newly diagnosed cases expected to rise annually. When CSCC invades deeper layers of the skin or adjacent tissues, it is categorised as locally advanced. Once it spreads to other distant parts of the body, it is considered metastatic.

Michael R. Migden, M.D., a lead investigator in the pivotal CSCC clinical program and Professor in the Departments of Dermatology and Head and Neck Surgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center said, “Today’s FDA decision is great news for patients with advanced CSCC, who previously had no approved treatment options. This is especially true because these patients are no longer candidates for curative surgery or radiation. Libtayo is an important new immunotherapy option for U.S. physicians to help address a significant unmet need in this patient group.”

Israel Lowy, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President of Global Clinical Development and Head of Translational Science and Clinical Oncology, Regeneron said, “By following the science, we identified early on that advanced CSCC was a promising target for investigation with Libtayo. We are proud to offer patients in the U.S. this first and only treatment for advanced CSCC and remain focused on advancing our clinical research investigating Libtayo as a potential monotherapy and combination therapy in other cancer types.”

Olivier Brandicourt, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi said, “In the U.S., CSCC accounts for one in five skin cancers, and the number of new diagnoses is increasing. We believe Libtayo has the potential to make a difference for U.S. patients with advanced CSCC, as it helps to fill a critical gap in treatment options. We are committed to bringing this important medicine to patients in other countries around the world as quickly as possible.”

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