New medicine to treat patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) is available in China to save those at high risk of developing metastases. The Xian Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd announced on Wednesday that ERLEADA (apalutamide) was put on the market in China after being granted by the China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) in September, recognizing the urgent unmet need for patients with nmCRPC who currently have few treatment options.
ERLEADA is an androgen receptor inhibitor that works by preventing androgen from binding to the androgen receptor. It has been shown to delay the time to distant metastasis. Treatment with ERLEADA has also shown to result in the control of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels, which is an important indicator during the early treatment and prognosis of patients with prostate cancer.
According to Professor Zhou Liqun, Head of Urology Department in Peking University First Hospital, the five year survival rate for advanced mCRPC patients is only 3% before the new method of endocrine treatment. “This rate increased to only 30% even with new treatment. So it is urgent to postpone progression and to maintain quality of life for patients living with nmCRPC and the approval of ERLEADA presents a new treatment option that can potentially addres this treatment.
The incidence rate of prostate cancer in China has increased and become one of the top five of the most common male cancers in the country over the past decade. The androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) is the current standard of care for nmCRPC. However, if after initial sustained treatment with ADT, the cancer cells continue to progress without distant metastasis, patients will enter a stage called nmCRPC. Without interventions, 90% of patients with nmCRPC will eventually develop bone metastases, which can lead to pain, fractures and spinal cord compression.
According to data from a clinical study, ERLEADA reduced the risk of advanced metastasis or death by 72% and increased median metastasis-free survival by over two years among patients with nmCRPC who are undergoing continuous ADT treatment.
Professor Wang Jianye, Dean of Beijing Hospital and Director of National Center of Gerontology, said “In recent years, urology and oncology doctors are working on new NM-CRPC treatment and medicine. ERLEADA optimizes the standard NM-CRPC treatment in China and provides quality time for patients and their families.”
“As one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in China, Xian Janssen has been dedicated to helping patients with prostate cancer in China. We recognize the varied needs of patients across all stages of prostate cancer, which require collaborative efforts from government, society and the healthcare industry to address. To help patients with prostate cancer receive better treatment, we are committed to exploring the full potential of our solutions in addressing unmet treatment needs across all stages of disease progression,” said Asgar Rangoonwala, President of Xian Janssen.
ERLEADA is now available in major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin. Xian Janssen is supporting the China Primary Healthcare Foundation to launch a Patient Access Program that helps low-income patients in China access treatment with ERLEADA.