Singapore’s HSA approves Akynzeo for prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy

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Mundipharma has been granted exclusive rights for sales and marketing of Akynzeo in Singapore 

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Credit: Pixabay

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is one of the most common and distressing side effects of cancer chemotherapy. It has a significant impact on the quality of life of cancer patients as uncontrolled CINV could lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, malnutrition and may even discourage them from continuing with chemotherapy. Thus, effective management of CINV is a very important part of the overall care plan for patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.

The Singapore Health Sciences Authority has recently approved Akynzeo (netupitant and palonosetron; NEPA) to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy. Akynzeo® will be sold and marketed by Mundipharma Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd in Singapore, under license from Lugano, Switzerland-based Helsinn Healthcare SA.

Akynzeo is a novel fixed combination capsule containing 0.5 mg of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT3) receptor antagonist palonosetron and 300 mg of a new neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptor antagonist called netupitant. It targets two critical neural pathways associated with nausea and vomiting during the acute (0–24 hours) and delayed (25-120hours) phase after chemotherapy.

Akynzeo was well tolerated in clinical trials, with an adverse events profile that is typical for a diverse population of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Two of the most common treatment-related side effects observed in clinical trials were headache and constipation that are commonly associated with oral antiemetics.

It offered extremely effective guideline-recommended combination prophylaxis for CINV in a convenient single oral dose.

Patients were typically prescribed one capsule of Akynzeo, approximately 1 hour before the start of chemotherapy. This single dose covered the patient for 5 days. Patients receiving Akynzeo were also prescribed dexamethasone 30 minutes before highly or moderately emetogenic chemotherapy.

Caption: Dr. Wong Seng Weng (The Cancer Centre Singapore, TCC) introducing the topic of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting
Dr. Wong Seng Weng (The Cancer Centre Singapore, TCC) introducing the topic of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting Credit: Mundipharma Pte. Ltd

Speaking to the media, Dr. Wong Seng Weng, Medical Director & Consultant Specialist in Medical Oncology at The Cancer Centre (TCC) Singapore stressed on the importance of treating CINV with an effective 2-in-1 anti-emetic like Akynzeo. He said that healthcare professionals often tend to underestimate the nausea that chemotherapy patients experience in CINV and said this drug is a “game-changer” compared to the old generation of anti-vomiting medications.