US FDA approves Krintafel (tafenoquine) for the radical cure of P. vivax malaria

First single-dose medicine to prevent the relapse of P. vivax malaria marks a major contribution towards malaria eradication efforts

20 Jul 2018

GSK and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) today announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved, under Priority Review, single-dose Krintafel (tafenoquine) for the radical cure (prevention of relapse) of Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) malaria in patients aged 16 years and older who are receiving appropriate antimalarial therapy for acute P. vivax infection.

Dr Hal Barron, Chief Scientific Officer and President of Research and Development, GSK, said: “Today’s approval of Krintafel, the first new treatment for Plasmodium vivax malaria in over 60 years, is a significant milestone for people living with this type of relapsing malaria. Together with our partner, Medicines for Malaria Venture, we believe Krintafel will be an important medicine for patients with malaria and contribute to the ongoing effort to eradicate this disease.”

Dr David Reddy, Chief Executive Officer of MMV said: “The US FDA’s approval of Krintafel is a major milestone and a significant contribution towards global efforts to eradicate malaria. The world has waited decades for a new medicine to counter P. vivax malaria relapse. Today, we can say the wait is over. Moreover, as the first ever single-dose for this indication, Krintafel will help improve patient compliance. We are proud to have worked side-by-side with GSK for more than a decade to reach this point. Our focus is now on working to ensure the medicine reaches the vulnerable patients that need it most.”

The approval was based on efficacy and safety data from a comprehensive global clinical development P. vivax radical cure programme designed in agreement with the FDA. Thirteen studies in healthy volunteers and patients directly supported the programme. The primary evidence for the clinical efficacy and safety of the 300mg single-dose, to which more than 800 subjects were exposed, was provided by three randomised, double-blind studies: DETECTIVE Part 1 and Part 2 (TAF112582) and GATHER (TAF116564). The results of the two phase III studies were announced in June 2017. The submission included data analysed from a total of thirty-three studies involving more than 4,000 trial subjects exposed to the 300mg single-dose and other doses of tafenoquine.

Prof. Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Advisor, DFID, said, “UKAID is a long-term funder of MMV and is proud to have supported the development of tafenoquine. This approval is an important step forward, as a new, single dose treatment for relapsing malaria.”

Dr Sue Desmond-Hellmann, Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “This is a major milestone along the road to ending the scourge of malaria for good. Approval of the first-ever radical, single-dose cure for vivax malaria means the next domino to fall on the path to eradication can be the Americas. This is an opportunity we must seize.”