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Novartis applications for Tafinlar, Mekinist accepted by Chinese regulators

Novartis AG's marketing applications for skin cancer drugs Tafinlar and Mekinist were accepted by Chinese regulators, according to the country's Center for Drug Evaluation.

Tafinlar, also known as dabrafenib, inhibits a gene called BRAF, which can mutate and drive certain cancers. Mekinist, also known as trametinib, inhibits the MEK 1 and MEK 2 protein in cancer cells.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013 approved Tafinlar and Mekinist as treatments for advanced melanoma, and later approved the drugs as a combination therapy for melanoma with BRAF V600E or V600K mutations, thyroid cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC developed Tafinlar and Mekinist, which were obtained by Novartis as part of its acquisition of GSK's oncology business in 2015.