This week, new treatments for liver, prostate, and lung cancer are featured in the Innovation Partners BioBlog. Each offers hope and a promising development in the development of oncology treatments. The Supreme Court is urged to take another look at the Texas appeals court ruling on the ACA, and two Trump administration healthcare policies are back in the spotlight.

Innovation Partners Weekly BioBlog January 26, 2020

MedPAC: 340B hospitals spent more on lung, prostate cancer drugs compared to other facilities

Hospitals that participate in the Medicare 340B program spend more for drugs for prostate and lung cancer than non-participating facilities, a new report shows. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) did not find that the program encouraged facilities to utilize more expensive drugs. Congress requested the analysis after the program experienced cuts under the Trump administration.

Analysis finds shoppable hospital services at center of transparency rule a small part of employer plan spending

The list of so-called “shoppable” services that are the focus of the Trump administration’s hospital transparency pricing push actually account for a small portion of employer plan spending. An analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute examined the impact of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ final rule to require hospitals to post prices for 300 services. These “shoppable” services include anything that can be scheduled in advance by patients. Hospitals question that practicality and usefulness of the rule.

AHIP, hospitals ask Supreme Court to expedite review of ACA decision

Insurers, hospitals, and related organizations have all voiced their support for the Affordable Care Act as it undergoes scrutiny by the Supreme Court. A Texas district appeals court ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional; the Supreme Court upheld the ACA based on the individual mandate. If the mandate is nullified, it may cancel the entire act. The Supreme Court has been urged to review the matter in 2020 and resolve it once and for all.

AZ’s Imfinzi scores orphan drug status in liver cancer

The FDA granted AstraZeneca’s PD-L1 Imfinzi, and anti-CTLA4 antibody tremelimumab orphan drug status for the treatment of liver cancer. The FDA grants this designation for drugs that treat diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people per year. The drugs will treat advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Around 42,000 people were diagnosed with HCC last year in the United States. Worldwide, around 755,000 people in total are diagnosed with HCC.

Myriad Submits sPMA for BRACAnalysis® CDx as a Companion Diagnostic for Lynparza® in Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer

Myriad Geneticshas submitted a supplementary premarket approval (sPMA) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its BRACAnalysis® CDx test as a companion diagnostic to AstraZeneca’s (LSE/OMX Nordic/NYSE: AZN) and Merck’s PARP inhibitor Lynparza®(olaparib) for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The submission represents the company’s tenth PMA filing for BRACAnalysis CDx in support of Lynparza.

UPDATE 1-BeiGene lung cancer treatment improves progression-free survival

China’s BeiGene Ltd said its cancer therapy, tislelizumab plus chemotherapy, helped newly diagnosed lung cancer patients live longer by preventing the disease from progressing, in a late-stage study. The therapy met the main goal of improving progression-free survival in patients with squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients were either given BeiGene’s tislelizumab along with chemotherapy agents paclitaxel and carboplatin, or tislelizumab mixed with carboplatin and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s Abraxane.