ST. HELIER, Jersey--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Novocure (NASDAQ: NVCR) announced today that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has approved Optune® (NovoTTF-100A) – Novocure’s Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) delivery system – in the treatment of adult patients with supra-tentorial glioblastoma (GBM) following maximal safe surgical resection and radiation therapy. Novocure will prepare to submit an application for public reimbursement of Optune for newly diagnosed GBM in Japan.
“This approval is a significant moment for newly diagnosed GBM patients in Japan”
“The Japanese MHLW’s approval of Optune represents an important milestone for Novocure, enabling us to treat more patients who suffer from this aggressive disease,” said Novocure CEO Asaf Danziger. “Optune in combination with temozolomide has been clinically proven to extend survival in patients with newly diagnosed GBM, and we look forward to making Optune available to newly diagnosed GBM patients in Japan.”
Novocure established commercial operations in Japan in March 2015 after the MHLW approved Optune for the treatment of recurrent GBM. Approximately 1,500 patients are diagnosed with GBM in Japan each year.
“This approval is a significant moment for newly diagnosed GBM patients in Japan,” said Ryo Nishikawa, MD, PhD, President of the Japanese Society of Neuro-Oncology and Professor of Saitama Medical University International Medical Center. “Optune provides patients with an additional treatment option, one that has been proven to extend survival.”
The MHLW’s approval of Optune for the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM was supported by Novocure’s phase 3 pivotal EF-14 trial results, which showed significant extension of both progression free and overall survival in newly diagnosed GBM patients receiving Optune with temozolomide compared to temozolomide alone. Optune is the first MHLW-approved therapy in more than a decade to demonstrate statistically and clinically significant extension of survival in newly diagnosed GBM patients.
“We have been eagerly anticipating this day,” said Shungo Matori, Novocure’s General Manager Japan and Representative Director of Novocure K.K. “Newly diagnosed GBM patients have experienced an unmet need for better treatment options. We are dedicated to making Optune available to all GBM patients who can benefit from our therapy in Japan.”
Novocure is a commercial-stage oncology company developing a novel, proprietary therapy called Tumor Treating Fields, or TTFields, for the treatment of solid tumor cancers. Novocure’s commercialized product, Optune, is approved for the treatment of adult patients with glioblastoma. Novocure has ongoing or completed phase 2 pilot trials investigating TTFields in non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
Headquartered in Jersey, Novocure has U.S. operations in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Malvern, Pennsylvania, and New York City. Additionally, the company has offices in Germany, Switzerland and Japan, and a research center in Haifa, Israel. For additional information about the company, please visit www.novocure.com or follow us at www.twitter.com/novocure.
In Japan, Optune (NovoTTF-100A) is approved in the treatment of adult patients with supra-tentorial glioblastoma (GBM) and is used following maximal safe surgical resection and radiation therapy.
In the United States, Optune is intended as a treatment for adult patients (22 years of age or older) with histologically-confirmed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
In the United States, Optune with temozolomide is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed, supratentorial glioblastoma following maximal debulking surgery and completion of radiation therapy together with concomitant standard of care chemotherapy.
In the United States, for the treatment of recurrent GBM, Optune is indicated following histologically-or radiologically-confirmed recurrence in the supratentorial region of the brain after receiving chemotherapy. The device is intended to be used as a monotherapy, and is intended as an alternative to standard medical therapy for GBM after surgical and radiation options have been exhausted.
Important Safety Information
Do not use Optune if you have an active implanted medical device, a skull defect (such as, missing bone with no replacement), or bullet fragments. Use of Optune together with implanted electronic devices has not been tested and may theoretically lead to malfunctioning of the implanted device. Use of Optune together with skull defects or bullet fragments has not been tested and may possibly lead to tissue damage or render Optune ineffective.
Do not use Optune if you are known to be sensitive to conductive hydrogels. In this case, skin contact with the gel used with Optune may commonly cause increased redness and itching, and rarely may even lead to severe allergic reactions such as shock and respiratory failure.
Warnings and Precautions
Use Optune only after receiving training from qualified personnel, such as your doctor, a nurse, or other medical personnel who have completed a training course given by Novocure (the device manufacturer).
Do not use Optune if you are pregnant, you think you might be pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. It is not known if Optune is safe or effective in these populations.
The most common (≥10%) adverse events involving Optune in combination with temozolomide were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, scalp irritation from device use, headache, convulsions, and depression.
The most common (≥10%) adverse events seen when using Optune alone were scalp irritation from device use and headache.
The following adverse reactions were considered related to Optune when using the device alone: scalp irritation from device use, headache, malaise, muscle twitching, fall and skin ulcer.
All servicing procedures must be performed by qualified and trained personnel.
Do not use any parts that do not come with the Optune Treatment Kit, or that were not sent to you by the device manufacturer or given to you by your doctor.
Do not wet the device or transducer arrays.
If you have an underlying serious skin condition on the scalp, discuss with your doctor whether this may prevent or temporarily interfere with Optune treatment.
Please see http://www.optune.com/safety to see the Optune Instructions For Use (IFU) for complete information regarding the device's indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions.
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