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European Commission final decision


Authorised uses of cancer medicine Yondelis unchanged following review of new data

On 23 July 2020, EMA recommended that the use of Yondelis (trabectedin) in treating ovarian cancer remain unchanged following a review of a study that investigated Yondelis as a third-line treatment in patients with ovarian cancer. However, the study results will be included in the medicine’s product information to provide healthcare professionals with the most up-to-date information on the effects of Yondelis in patients with ovarian cancer.

An analysis of study OVC-3006 investigating the use of Yondelis plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD, another cancer medicine) in patients with ovarian cancer was carried out while the study was still ongoing and showed that, overall, patients treated with Yondelis plus PLD did not live longer than patients given PLD alone. As a result, the study was terminated ahead of time.

EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) assessed the data and concluded that the results available are not robust enough to draw firm conclusions. Available evidence from the study does not put into question the benefits and risks of Yondelis in its currently authorised uses. Further, there are key differences between OVC-3006 and the study that supported the authorisation of Yondelis (OVA-301). The main difference is that patients in study OVC-3006 had a more advanced disease and had been more heavily treated than those included in OVA-301. In addition, a significant proportion of patients in study OVC-3006 had ovarian cancer that was resistant to medicines containing platinum, while Yondelis is currently authorised for platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer.

When considering Yondelis’ safety, the CHMP noted that in the OVC-3006 study patients treated with Yondelis and PLD had more side effects and more severe ones than those treated with PLD only; however, the committee considered that a higher occurrence of side effects is not unexpected with combination treatments compared to treatments used alone.

The CHMP recommended that the results of the study be included in the summary of product characteristics of Yondelis so that healthcare professionals have the most up-to-date information when prescribing the medicine.

Key facts

Approved name
International non-proprietary name (INN) or common name


Associated names
Antineoplastic agents
Reference number
Article 20 procedures

This type of procedure is triggered for medicines that have been authorised via the centralised procedure in case of quality, safety or efficacy issues.

European Commission final decision
Opinion date
EC decision date

All documents

Document description

  • Questions and answers (Q&A) - easy-to-understand summary of key issues and Committee conclusions
  • Summary of Opinion - contains the CHMP opinion of the referred medicine(s)
  • List of the medicines affected by the referral (Annex I)
  • Scientific conclusions of the Committee (Annex II)

The following two documents are sometimes available:


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