PUBLISHED 15 February 2018
AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, US (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for selumetinib, a MEK 1/2 inhibitor, for the treatment of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).
NF1 is an incurable genetic condition that affects one in 3,000 births,[i] with highly-variable symptoms, including cutaneous (skin), neurological (nervous system) and orthopaedic (skeletal) manifestations. NF1 can cause secondary complications including learning difficulties, visual impairment, pain, disfigurement, twisting and curvature of the spine, high blood pressure and epilepsy. Plexiform neurofibromas (PNs) are a neurological manifestation of NF1 and arise from nerve fascicles that tend to grow along the length of the nerve. PNs occur in approximately 20-50% of NF1 patients causing pain, motor dysfunction and disfigurement.[ii]