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Turning Point Therapeutics, a San Diego developer of targeted cancer drugs, released positive data Wednesday on repotrectinib, its treatment for non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers, and said the Food and Drug Administration might allow it to file for approval sooner than previously expected.

Repotrectinib is a medicine targeted against cancers driven by a rare mutation in which DNA becomes rearranged, called a Ros1-fusion. Several other Ros1 drugs are approved, including Pfizer’s Xalkori and Roche’s Rozlytrek, but investors have been bidding up Turning Point’s stock in the hopes that repotrectinib will prove more effective in patients who have been failed by these other drugs and perhaps as a first choice to be used before those medicines. Ros1 rearrangements occur in about 2% of cases of non-small cell lung cancer, the most common type of lung cancer.

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  • Here is what will be the deal maker or deal breaker. Does Repo effectively cross the blood-brain barrier. Ros1 driven lung cancers like to form brain mets. Back in the day, these tumors were easily regressed into remission with Xalkori, but they would inevitably relapse in the brain. You could count on it. Newer Alk inhibitors seem to control or prevent brain metastases. For Repo to look attractive, it would need to prevent brain metastases as well.

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