Novartis Kisqali Now First and Only CDK4/6 Inhibitor Indicated in US as First-line Therapy Specifically for Premenopausal Women; and as Initial Therapy with Fulvestrant in Postmenopausal Women

Originally Published by Novartis.

Novartis announced a new approval for Kisqali (ribociclib) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for women with hormone-receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Kisqali is now the only CDK4/6 inhibitor indicated for use with an aromatase inhibitor for the treatment of pre-, peri- or postmenopausal women in the US, and also is indicated for use in combination with fulvestrant as both first- or second-line therapy in postmenopausal women[1]. FDA reviewed this supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) under its Real-Time Oncology Review and Assessment Aid pilot programs and approved the application in less than one month after submission.


“Compelling data for Kisqali have led to the broadest first-line indications of any CDK4/6 inhibitor,” said Liz Barrett, CEO, Novartis Oncology. “With this new approval Kisqali has the potential to help even more people in the US live a longer life without progression of disease from this incurable form of breast cancer.”

This approval is based on the pivotal MONALEESA-7 and MONALEESA-3 Phase III clinical trials that demonstrated prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) and improvements as early as eight weeks for Kisqali-based regimens compared to endocrine therapy alone[1]. In MONALEESA-7, Kisqali plus an aromatase inhibitor and goserelin nearly doubled the median PFS compared to an aromatase inhibitor and goserelin alone (27.5 months compared to 13.8 months; HR=0.569; 95% CI: 0.436-0.743) in pre- or perimenopausal women[1]. In MONALEESA-3, Kisqali plus fulvestrant demonstrated a median PFS of 20.5 months compared to 12.8 months for fulvestrant alone (HR=0.593; 95% CI: 0.480-0.732) across the overall population of first-line and second-line postmenopausal women[1].

“These MONALEESA clinical trial program data add to the body of evidence that CDK 4/6 inhibition, in the case of these studies with ribociclib, gives women diagnosed with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer an important first-line treatment option,” said Dennis J. Slamon, MD, Director of Clinical/Translational Research, University of California, Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Based on Phase III trial results that consistently showed clinical benefit, physicians should be encouraged to re-evaluate treatment for advanced breast cancer in the first-line setting.”

Approximately 155,000 people in the US are living with metastatic breast cancer[2]. Up to one-third of patients with early-stage breast cancer will subsequently develop advanced disease, for which there is currently no cure[3]. Advanced breast cancer in premenopausal women is a biologically distinct and more aggressive disease, and it is the leading cause of cancer death in women 20-59 years old[4],[5].

“Premenopausal women diagnosed with advanced breast cancer often face unique social challenges and a poorer prognosis. For the first time in nearly 20 years, we have results from a dedicated clinical trial among these women,” said Jennifer Merschdorf, CEO, Young Survival Coalition. “With this approval, some younger women now have a new therapy indicated specifically for them that may help extend their lives without progression of disease.”

Novartis is committed to providing patients with access to medicines, as well as resources and support to address a range of needs. The Kisqali patient support program is available to help guide eligible patients through the various aspects of getting started on treatment, from providing educational information to helping them understand their insurance coverage and identify potential financial assistance options. For more information, patients and healthcare professionals can call 1-800-282-7630.

Discussions with global health authorities regarding the MONALEESA-3 and MONALEESA-7 data are ongoing.

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