Eisai has submitted an application to market its oncology drug lenvatinib for the treatment of patients with renal cell carcinoma.

The file is centred on Phase II showing that the drug significantly extended progression-free survival (PFS) when added to treatment with Novartis’ Afinitor (everolimus); those given the combination regimen experienced a median PFS of 14.6 months versus 5.5 months for those taking everolimus alone.

Lenvatinib is an oral molecular tri-specific targeted therapy with potent selectivity, says Eisai. The drug is already available in Europe under the tradename Lenvima adults with progressive, locally advanced or metastatic differentiated (papillary, follicular, Hürthle cell) thyroid carcinoma, refractory to radioactive iodine.

The news that Eisai has now also submitted lenvatinib for renal cell carcinoma - the most common form of kidney cancer - is “hugely positive” for clinicians and patients, noted Hilary Glen, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Scotland, UK. “The current outlook for people with this aggressive cancer is poor, and therefore the potential of lenvatinib is very exciting indeed”.

A similar filing has also been submitted in the US.