FDA approves treatment for post-transplant cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection

Nov. 29, 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Livtencity (maribavir) as the first drug for treating adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older and weighing at least 35 kilograms) with post-transplant cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection/disease that does not respond (with or without genetic mutations that cause resistance) to available antiviral treatment for CMV.

 Livtencity works by preventing the activity of human cytomegalovirus enzyme pUL97, thus blocking virus replication.

CMV is a type of herpes virus that commonly causes infection in patients after a stem cell or organ transplant. CMV infection can lead to CMV disease and have a major negative impact on transplant recipients, including loss of the transplanted organ and death.

Livtencity’s safety and efficacy were evaluated in a Phase 3, multicenter, open-label, active-controlled trial that compared Livtencity with a treatment assigned by a researcher running the study, which could include one or two of the following antivirals used to treat CMV: ganciclovir, valganciclovir, foscarnet or cidofovir. In the study, 352 transplant recipients with CMV infections who did not respond (with or without resistance) to treatment randomly received Livtencity or treatment assigned by a researcher for up to eight weeks.

The study compared the two groups’ plasma CMV DNA concentration levels at the end of the study’s eighth week, with efficacy defined as having a level below what is measurable. Of the 235 patients who received Livtencity, 56% had levels of CMV DNA below what was measurable versus 24% of the 117 patients who received an investigator-assigned treatment.

The FDA granted the approval of Livtencity to Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company.

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