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What type of drug is Alunbrig?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Feb 12, 2024.

Official answer


Alunbrig (brigatinib) is an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor used for the treatment of patients with a certain type of lung cancer called ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized).

Alunbrig was first FDA approved in 2017 for patients with ALK-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who had progressed on, or were intolerant to crizotinib. In May 2020, this indication was expanded to include Alunbrig as a first-line treatment option for ALK+ NSCLC. Alunbrig is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

About 85% of patients with lung cancer have non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with 5% of those patients having a mutation in the ALK gene (ALK-positive).

What are the ALK inhibitors?

There are several ALK inhibitors approved by the FDA for the treatment of ALK+ NSCLC. They include:

Cancer that is “ALK-positive (ALK+)” means that certain genes have rearranged in your DNA leading to an “oncogene”. An oncogene can result in uncontrolled cancer cell replication. About 5% of patients with lung cancer have ALK-positive lung cancer.

Your doctor can order an FDA-approved test to determine if you have a mutation in the ALK gene and if you are ALK+. If so, you may be able to be treated with an ALK inhibitor.

The first ALK inhibitor to be FDA approved was crizotinib (Xalkori) in 2011. Acquired resistance to crizotinib is common (due to newly acquired mutations in the ALK gene), so the second-generation ALK inhibitors such as ceritinib (Zykadia), alectinib (Alecensa), brigatinib (Alunbrig) and Lorbrena (lorlatinib) were developed to help overcome crizotinib resistance.

This is not all the information you need to know about Alunbrig (brigatinib) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full Alunbrig information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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