It was only May when Eli Lilly’s Retevmo became the first FDA-approved drug for RET-altered tumors. Now, a rival therapy has arrived with the marketing clout of a Big Pharma cancer specialist.
Blueprint Medicines and recently signed-on partner Roche have snagged an FDA green light for Gavreto (pralsetinib) in non-small cell lung cancer that bears an abnormality in the RET gene.
The drug will become “the primary focus and priority” for the company’s marketing team, which employs more than 40 sales reps, Blueprint’s chief commercial officer, Christy Rossi, said ahead of the approval. Another part of the Blueprint commercial group is focused on patient identification, as testing is important for a targeted therapy such as Gavreto, she added Those aspects make Roche, a cancer therapy and diagnostic giant, the ideal partner for Blueprint. Roche brings expertise in precision cancer drugs that it can use in its dealing with healthcare providers, and it can help identify eligible patients by driving testing. Blueprint, for its part, brings to the table its knowledge around Gavreto specifically, Rossi said.
And Roche clearly likes what it’s seen so far, having shelled out $775 million upfront for Gavreto rights, including a $100 million in equity investment in Blueprint.