CHMP backs expanded approval of tocilizumab


Photo courtesy of Roche

Tocilizumab (RoActemra)

The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended expanding the approved use of tocilizumab (RoActemra).

The recommendation is for tocilizumab to treat adults and pediatric patients age 2 and older who have severe or life-threatening cytokine release syndrome (CRS) induced by chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

The CHMP’s recommendation will be reviewed by the European Commission, which has the authority to approve medicines for use in the European Union, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

The European Commission usually makes a decision within 67 days of the CHMP’s recommendation.

Tocilizumab is a humanized interleukin-6 receptor antagonist marketed by Roche Registration GmbH.

The drug is already approved by the European Commission to treat rheumatoid arthritis, active systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic polyarthritis.

The CHMP’s recommendation to expand the approved use of tocilizumab is supported by results from a retrospective analysis of data from clinical trials of CAR T-cell therapies in patients with hematologic malignancies.

For this analysis, researchers assessed 45 pediatric and adult patients treated with tocilizumab, with or without additional high-dose corticosteroids, for severe or life-threatening CRS.

Thirty-one patients (69%) achieved a response, defined as resolution of CRS within 14 days of the first dose of tocilizumab.

No more than 2 doses of tocilizumab were needed, and no drugs other than tocilizumab and corticosteroids were used for treatment.

No adverse reactions related to tocilizumab were reported.

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