Roche's Alecensa, a drug for treatment of ALK positive lung cancer, has received a nod from the FDA. While only 5% of lung cancer patients are ALK positive (ALK/EML translocation), this drug can be specifically directed to these patients for more effective first line treatment. The work that Pfizer and others have done with ALK positive lung cancers allows a personalized and effective treatment for these patients.
Roche's lung cancer drug Alecensa had been relegated to patients who'd failed on treatment with one of its rivals, but a new FDA nod is changing all that. It's now approved to treat newly diagnosed patients with ALK-positive disease, and Roche has some Xalkori-beating data to back it up.