FDA Approves Fruquintinib in Refractory Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

November 09, 2023

On November 8, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/resources-information-approved-drugs/fda-approves-fruquintinib-refractory-metastatic-colorectal-cancer) fruquintinib (Fruzaqla) for adult patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) who received prior fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-based chemotherapy, an anti-VEGF therapy, and, if RAS wild-type and medically appropriate, an anti-EGFR therapy.

FDA update

Efficacy was evaluated in FRESCO-2 (NCT04322539) and FRESCO (NCT02314819). FRESCO-2 (NCT04322539), an international, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, evaluated 691 patients with mCRC who had disease progression during or after prior fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, irinotecan-based chemotherapy, an anti-VEGF biologic therapy and anti-EGFR biologic therapy if RAS wild type, and at least one of trifluridine/tipiracil or regorafenib. FRESCO, a multicenter, placebo-controlled trial conducted in China, evaluated 416 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who had disease progression during or after prior fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-based chemotherapy.

In both trials, patients were randomly allocated 2:1 to receive either fruquintinib 5 mg orally once daily or placebo for the first 21 days of each 28-day cycle plus best supportive care. Patients received therapy until they experienced disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Overall survival (OS) was the major efficacy outcome in both trials. In FRESCO-2, median OS was 7.4 months (95% CI = 6.7, 8.2) for those treated with fruquintinib and 4.8 months (95% CI = 4.0, 5.8) in the placebo group (HR = 0.66; 95% CI = 0.55, 0.80; p < 0.001). In FRESCO, median OS was 9.3 months (95% CI = 8.2, 10.5) and 6.6 months (95% CI = 5.9, 8.1) in the respective treatment arms (HR = 0.65; 95% CI = 0.51, 0.83; p < 0.001).

The most common adverse reactions reported in more than 20% of patients were hypertension, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, proteinuria, dysphonia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and asthenia.

The recommended fruquintinib dose is 5 mg orally once daily, with or without food, for the first 21 days of each 28-day cycle until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

View the full prescribing information for fruquintinib (http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2023/217564s000lbl.pdf).

The review was conducted under Project Orbis (https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/oncology-center-excellence/project-orbis), an initiative of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence. Project Orbis provides a framework for concurrent submission and review of oncology drugs among international partners. For this review, FDA collaborated with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, Health Canada, Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority, Switzerland’s Swissmedic, and United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. The application reviews are ongoing at the other regulatory agencies.

The application was granted priority review. FDA-expedited programs are described in the Guidance for Industry: Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions—Drugs and Biologics (https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/expedited-programs-serious-conditions-drugs-and-biologics).

Healthcare professionals should report all serious adverse events suspected to be associated with the use of any medicine and device to FDA’s MedWatch Reporting System (https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm) or by calling 800-FDA-1088.

For assistance with single-patient investigational new drug applications for oncology products, healthcare professionals may contact the Oncology Center of Excellence’s Project Facilitate (https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/oncology-center-excellence/project-facilitate) at 240-402-0004 or email OncProjectFacilitate@fda.hhs.gov (mailto:OncProjectFacilitate@fda.hhs.gov).

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