Tepmetko (tepotinib)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: September 2023

Tepmetko® (tepotinib) is used as a targeted treatment for adults with certain forms of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has metastasized or spread from where it started in the body. NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer.1-3

Tepmetko treatment for metastatic NSCLC

Specifically, Tepmetko is approved to treat metastatic NSCLC with MET exon 14 skipping alterations. This is estimated to be present in about 4 percent of NSCLC cases and is more common in people over age 70. The prognosis, or projected outcome, for this type of cancer is typically poor. This motivated the development of a targeted treatment. The MET exon 14 skipping alterations genetic abnormality can be detected with liquid or tissue sample biopsies.1,4

Tepmetko was granted accelerated approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Accelerated approval is sometimes granted to new drugs that are promising and could make a positive impact on the treatment of serious conditions. This helps drugs like Tepmetko become available sooner.5

Continued approval of Tepmetko may depend on more clinical trials confirming the drug’s safety and effectiveness. 1,4

What are the ingredients in Tepmetko?

The active ingredient in Tepmetko is tepotinib hydrochloride hydrate.6

How does Tepmetko work?

In people with NSCLC with MET exon 14 skipping alterations, the MET gene does not function correctly. Instead, it sends out instructions to cells that can cause tumor growth or worsen cancer in other ways. Tepotinib is a type of drug called a MET inhibitor. It is designed to target the cancer by reducing the impact from the MET gene by limiting the instructions the MET gene can send to cells.4

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects of Tepmetko include:1,6

  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling (edema)
  • Pain in muscles and bones

These are not all the possible side effects of Tepmetko. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Tepmetko. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Tepmetko.

Other things to know

Before starting treatment with Tepmetko, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Current or past lung or breathing problems other than lung cancer
  • Current or past liver problems

Tepmetko can harm an unborn baby. If you or your partner can become pregnant, you should use birth control during treatment and for some time after the last dose of Tepmetko. You should also not breastfeed during treatment with Tepmetko and for some time after the last dose. Talk to your doctor about your options for birth control and breastfeeding while taking Tepmetko.6

Before beginning treatment for lung cancer, tell your doctor about all your health conditions, as well as any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Tepmetko.

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