GSK seeks Australian TGA approval for single-dose tafenoquine to treat Plasmodium vivax malaria

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GSK and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) have announced the submission of a regulatory application by GSK to the Australian Therapeutics Good Administration (TGA) seeking approval of single-dose tafenoquine treatment for the radical cure (prevention of relapse) of Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) malaria.

Approval of tafenoquine by the TGA, who will act as the reference regulatory authority, will help facilitate registrations in countries where malaria is endemic. If approved, tafenoquine would be the first new medicine for the prevention of relapse of P. vivax malaria in more than 60 years, potentially addressing the need for a single-dose and effective medicine for this debilitating disease.

The TGA submission includes phase III data from the previously reported GATHER and DETECTIVE studies conducted by GSK in partnership with MMV. It follows the announcement of a submission to the US Food and Drug Administration in November 2017. 

Pauline Williams, Head of Global Health R&D, GSK said: “Plasmodium vivax malaria has a significant impact on global public health and we want to help these vulnerable patient populations. This regulatory submission shows our continued commitment to lead the fight against malaria and our collaborative efforts with MMV to support the World Health Organization’s goal to end malaria for good. If tafenoquine is approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, it will help pave the way for potential approvals in countries where malaria is endemic. The availability of this single-dose medicine could potentially revolutionise the treatment of this terrible disease and become an important tool in malaria eradication efforts.”

David Reddy, CEO of Medicines for Malaria Venture said: “MMV and GSK are committed to the development of single-dose tafenoquine for relapsing malaria. After many years of working in partnership we are delighted to now reach the exciting milestone of regulatory filing with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The world has been waiting over 60 years for a new medicine for this indication and a single dose medicine would be unprecedented. Submission to the TGA is particularly important given Australia’s recently announced Indo-Pacific Health Security Agenda that promotes malaria elimination, and improved regulatory processes in the region toward that goal. The burden of relapsing malaria falls heavily in the region, and Australia is taking leadership to end this scourge.”

Should it be approved for use, GSK and MMV are committed to making tafenoquine available at a not-for-profit price in malaria-endemic countries to enable wide patient access to those who need it most. Tafenoquine is not approved for use anywhere in the world. GSK plans to progress regulatory filings in other countries in 2018.

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