FDA Grants Janssen Research & Development Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Daratumumab

Daratumumab for treatment of multiple myeloma in specific patients

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

Janssen Research & Development, LLC (Janssen) announced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for daratumumab for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three prior lines of therapy including a proteasome inhibitor (PI) and an immunomodulatory agent (IMiD), or who are double refractory to a PI and IMiD.

Daratumumab is an investigational human CD38 monoclonal antibody and was discovered by the Danish company Genmab A/S.

In August 2012, Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Genmab entered an agreement which granted Janssen an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize daratumumab.

“We are honored that the FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to another compound in our pipeline, said Peter F. Lebowitz, MD, PhD, Global Oncology Therapeutic Area Head, Janssen. “Our team is looking forward to the opportunity to work closely with the FDA on the development program of this compound, which has the potential to make a difference in the lives of patients.”

This FDA designation marks the second oncology compound within the Janssen pipeline to receive Breakthrough Therapy Designation in the last three months.

In April 2013 and February 2013, the company announced that the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designations for the investigational oral Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib as a monotherapy for three B-cell malignancies:

  • In patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma with deletion of the short arm of chromosome 17 (del17p)
  • In patients with relapsed or refractory Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) who have received prior therapy
  • And in patients with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM). Janssen and Pharmacyclics, Inc. are co-developing and will co-commercialize ibrutinib.

Enacted as part of the 2012 FDA Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), Breakthrough Therapy Designation is intended to expedite the development and review time for a potential new medicine “to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development.”

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 2, 2013
Last Updated:
May 2, 2013