Singapore Approves New Therapy for Rare Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

08 May 2023 | Monday | News

Independent biopharmaceutical company Specialised Therapeutics Asia (ST) is pleased to announce that a new therapy to treat rare gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) shown to improve survival has been approved for use in Singapore.
Image Source : Public Domain

Image Source : Public Domain

  • Singapore's Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has approved QINLOCK® (ripretinib) for the treatment of patients with 4th line GIST

  • QINLOCK significantly reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 85% and showed clinically meaningful overall survival in the INVICTUS Phase 3 Study1,2

The therapy, QINLOCK (ripretinib) is now approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) "for the treatment of adult patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) who have received prior treatment with 3 or more kinase inhibitors, including imatinib, sunitinib, and regorafenib".

Singapore-based senior consultant in medical oncology Dr Richard Quek said QINLOCK represented a major treatment advancement for patients with advanced GIST.

"Since 2013, despite multiple attempts and studies, no therapy was shown to be effective for 4th line GIST patients whose cancers have progressed on existing treatment, until the discovery of QINLOCK," Dr Quek said.

In the pivotal INVICTUS study that led to QINLOCK's approval, QINLOCK was shown to significantly delay cancer progression.

"This approval in Singapore clearly provides an opportunity for us to improve the outcomes of our GIST patients who are refractory to the current existing treatment."

QINLOCK is an oral medication used to treat GIST in people who have received at least three prior treatments. It belongs to a drug class called tyrosine kinase inhibitors and works by blocking specific tumour proliferation pathways.2

A pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of QINLOCK – the INVICTUS study – demonstrated that QINLOCK was able to significantly reduce the risk of disease progression by 85% (hazard ratio of 0.15, p<0.0001) with a median progression-free survival of 6.3 months in patients administered QINLOCK, compared to 1.0 month in the placebo arm.1 QINLOCK was associated with clinically meaningful overall survival of 15.1 months vs 6.6 months and reduced the risk of death by 64% (hazard ratio of 0.36). The objective response rate by Blinded Independent Central Review using modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) was 9.4% with QINLOCK vs 0.0% with placebo (p=0.0504).1,3

In addition, in a long-term follow up analysis of the INVICTUS trial, patients in the QINLOCK arm demonstrated a median overall survival of 18.2 months compared to 6.3 months in the placebo arm and reduced the risk of death by 59% (hazard ratio of 0.41).The objective response rate was 11.8% with QINLOCK vs 0.0% with placebo.3

ST Chief Executive Officer Carlo Montagner said the Singapore approval followed the recent approval of QINLOCK in New Zealand, as well as regulatory and reimbursement approval in Australia.

"Achieving these critical regulatory milestones is testament to the dedication of our regulatory teams to make QINLOCK available to all eligible patients in Singapore who are impacted by this rare gastrointestinal cancer."

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