The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Experience with Ivacaftor in Cystic Fibrosis. Establishing Efficacy UsingIn VitroData in Lieu of a Clinical Trial
On May 17, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the patient population for use of ivacaftor to include patients with cystic fibrosis with relatively rare mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. The label expansion is unique in that clinical efficacy was not based on clinical data but on in vitro assay data demonstrating increased chloride ion transport across cells in response to ivacaftor. Such an approach provides a pathway for adding difficult-to-study mutation-based cystic fibrosis subpopulations to the indication as well as defining mutations unresponsive to ivacaftor and has important implications for cystic fibrosis drug development and other rare genetic diseases whose genetics and disease pathophysiology are well understood.