Active Substance: imatinib
Common Name: imatinib
ATC Code: L01XE01
Marketing Authorisation Holder: Accord Healthcare Ltd
Active Substance: imatinib
Authorisation Date: 2013-07-01
Therapeutic Area: Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive Dermatofibrosarcoma Myelodysplastic-Myeloproliferative Diseases Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma Hypereosinophilic Syndrome
Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Protein-kinase inhibitors
Imatinib Accord is indicated for the treatment of:
- paediatric patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia-chromosome (bcr-abl)-positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) for whom bone-marrow transplantation is not considered as the first line of treatment;
- paediatric patients with Ph+ CML in chronic phase after failure of interferon-alpha therapy, or in accelerated phase or blast crisis;
- adult patients with Ph+ CML in blast crisis;
- adult patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) integrated with chemotherapy;
- adult patients with relapsed or refractory Ph+ ALL as monotherapy;
- adult patients with myelodysplastic / myeloproliferative diseases (MDS / MPD) associated with platelet-derived-growth-factor-receptor (PDGFR)-gene re-arrangements
- adult patients with advanced hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) and / or chronic eosinophilic leukaemia (CEL) with FIP1L1-PDGFRα rearrangement;
- adult patients with unresectable dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) and adult patients with recurrent and / or metastatic DFSP who are not eligible for surgery.
What is Imatinib Accord and what is it used for?
Imatinib Accord is a cancer medicine used to treat the following diseases:
- chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), a cancer of the white blood cells in which granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) start growing out of control. Imatinib Accord is used when the patients are ‘Philadelphia chromosome positive’ (Ph+). This means that some of their genes have re‑arranged themselves to form a special chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome. Imatinib Accord is used in adults and children who have been newly diagnosed with Ph+ CML and who are not eligible for bone marrow transplantation. It is also used in adults and children in the ‘chronic phase’ of the disease if it is not responding to interferon alfa (another cancer medicine), and in more advanced phases of the disease (‘accelerated phase’ and ‘blast crisis’);
- Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a type of cancer in which lymphocytes (another type of white blood cell) multiply too quickly. Imatinib Accord is used in combination with other cancer medicines in adults and children who have been newly diagnosed with Ph+ ALL. It is also used alone in adults to treat Ph+ ALL that has returned following previous treatment, or is not responding to other medicines;
- myelodysplastic or myeloproliferative diseases (MD/MPD), a group of diseases in which the body produces large numbers of abnormal blood cells. Imatinib Accord is used to treat adults with MD/MPD who have re-arrangements of the gene for platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR);
- advanced hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) or chronic eosinophilic leukaemia (CEL), diseases in which eosinophils (another type of white blood cell) start growing out of control. Imatinib Accord is used to treat adults with HES or CEL who have a specific re‑arrangement of two genes called FIP1L1 and PDGFRα;
- dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), a type of cancer (sarcoma) in which cells in the tissue beneath the skin divide uncontrollably. Imatinib Accord is used to treat adults with DFSP that cannot be removed with surgery, and in adults who are not eligible for surgery when the cancer has returned after treatment or has spread to other parts of the body.
Imatinib Accord contains the active substance imatinib. It is a ‘generic medicine’. This means that Imatinib Accord contains the same active substance and works in the same way as a ‘reference medicine’ already authorised in the European Union (EU) called Glivec.
How is Imatinib Accord used?
Imatinib Accord is available as tablets (100 and 400 mg). It can only be obtained with a prescription and treatment should be started by a doctor who has experience in the treatment of patients with cancers of the blood or solid tumours. Imatinib Accord is given by mouth with a meal and a large glass of water to reduce the risk of irritation of the stomach and gut. The dose depends on the disease being treated, the age and condition of the patient, and the response to treatment, but it should not exceed 800 mg a day. For more information, see the package leaflet.
How does Imatinib Accord work?
The active substance in Imatinib Accord, imatinib, is a protein tyrosine-kinase inhibitor. This means that it blocks some specific enzymes known as tyrosine kinases. These enzymes can be found in some receptors on the surface of cancer cells, including the receptors that are involved in stimulating the cells to divide uncontrollably. By blocking these receptors, Imatinib Accord helps to control cell division.
How has Imatinib Accord been studied?
Studies on the benefits and risks of the active substance in the approved uses have already been carried out with the reference medicine, Glivec, and do not need to be repeated for Imatinib Accord.
As for every medicine, the company provided studies on the quality of Imatinib Accord. The company also carried out studies that showed that it is ‘bioequivalent’ to the reference medicine, Glivec. Two medicines are bioequivalent when they produce the same levels of the active substance in the body and are therefore expected to have the same effect.
What are the benefits and risks of Imatinib Accord?
Because Imatinib Accord is a generic medicine and is bioequivalent to the reference medicine, its benefits and risks are taken as being the same as the reference medicine’s.
Why is Imatinib Accord approved?
The European Medicines Agency concluded that, in accordance with EU requirements, Imatinib Accord has been shown to have comparable quality and to be bioequivalent to Glivec. Therefore, the Agency’s view was that, as for Glivec, the benefit outweighs the identified risk. The Agency recommended that Imatinib Accord be approved for use in the EU.
What measures are being taken to ensure the safe and effective use of Imatinib Accord?
Recommendations and precautions to be followed by healthcare professionals and patients for the safe and effective use of Imatinib Accord have been included in the summary of product characteristics and the package leaflet.
Other information about Imatinib Accord
The European Commission granted a marketing authorisation valid throughout the European Union for Imatinib Accord on 1 July 2013.
For more information about treatment with Imatinib Accord, read the package leaflet (also part of the EPAR) or contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Source: European Medicines Agency
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