ST. HELIER, Jersey--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Novocure (NASDAQ:NVCR) announced today that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved the recommendation by Japan’s Central Social Insurance Medical Council (Chuikyo) to provide reimbursement for Optune for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM).
“Today marks an important milestone for Novocure in Japan,” said Shungo Matori, Novocure’s General Manager, Japan and Representative Director of Novocure K.K. “With reimbursement established, we will now turn our attention toward adoption of Optune in Japan.”
Optune is a noninvasive, portable device approved in Japan to treat newly diagnosed and recurrent GBM. Optune delivers Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) to selectively disrupt mitosis in dividing cancer cells. Novocure’s phase 3 pivotal EF-14 trial compared Optune in combination with temozolomide to temozolomide alone in 695 patients with newly diagnosed GBM. The trial was designed to test both progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). The trial demonstrated unprecedented five-year survival results in newly diagnosed GBM. Patients treated with Optune in combination with temozolomide experienced a significant extension of overall survival without added systemic toxicity compared to patients treated with temozolomide alone. The data also showed that Optune-treated patients were able to maintain quality of life for longer compared to patients treated with temozolomide alone.
Approximately 1,500 people are diagnosed with GBM or tumors that typically progress to GBM in Japan each year. Of this population, approximately 1,100 patients are candidates for treatment with Optune based upon the rate of disease progression and medical eligibility. Japan represents the largest medical device market in which Novocure has received governmental reimbursement for Optune for the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM.
“Reimbursement in Japan demonstrates our dedication to expanding the geographic reach of our therapy and the acceptance of our therapy by an international government agency as a treatment that has been proven to extend survival in newly diagnosed GBM,” said Novocure’s CEO Asaf Danziger. “We remain committed to making our therapy available to all cancer patients who may benefit throughout the world.”
Additional details on the reimbursement decision are available in the Official Gazette (Issue date: November 30, Issue No.: 7154, Supplement No.: 258; Page 20).
Novocure is an oncology company developing a profoundly different cancer treatment utilizing a proprietary therapy called TTFields, the use of electric fields tuned to specific frequencies to disrupt solid tumor cancer cell division. Novocure’s commercialized product is approved for the treatment of adult patients with glioblastoma. Novocure has ongoing or completed clinical trials investigating TTFields in brain metastases, 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, Japan and 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 GBM and is used following maximal safe surgical resection and radiation therapy.
Full prescribing information is available to health care professionals by email at firstname.lastname@example.org in Japan.
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 GBM 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.
Patients should only use Optune under the supervision of a physician properly trained in use of the device. Full prescribing information is available at www.optune.com/safety or by calling toll free 1-855-281-9301.
Important Safety Information
Contraindications: 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.
Patients should only use Optune under the supervision of a physician properly trained in use of the device.
In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide Novocure’s current expectations or forecasts of future events. These may include statements regarding anticipated scientific progress on its research programs, development of potential products, interpretation of clinical results, prospects for regulatory approval, manufacturing development and capabilities, market prospects for its products, and other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts. You may identify some of these forward-looking statements by the use of words in the statements such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” or other words and terms of similar meaning. Novocure’s performance and financial results could differ materially from those reflected in these forward-looking statements due to general financial, economic, regulatory and political conditions as well as more specific risks and uncertainties facing Novocure such as those set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on February 23, 2017, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Given these risks and uncertainties, any or all of these forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Therefore, you should not rely on any such factors or forward-looking statements. Furthermore, Novocure does not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statement, except as required by law. Any forward-looking statements herein speak only as of the date hereof. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits this discussion.