A new drug in the treatment arsenal for mesothelioma is always welcomed. Recently, an Orphan Drug Designation was granted by the US Food and Drug Administration for tremelimumab, an anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody.
Robert Iannone, Senior Vice President and Head of Immuno-oncology, Global Medicines Development at AstraZeneca announced, “There is a significant need for new treatment options for patients with mesothelioma because fewer than five percent of patients currently survive beyond five years, even when they receive timely diagnosis and care. Our aim is to rapidly advance the development of tremelimumab as a potential new treatment option for these patients.”
What is an Orphan Drug Designation?
This is a program providing orphan status to drugs and biologics for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of rare diseases or disorders affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US.
Tremelimumab is being developed by AstraZeneca and MedImmune, the biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. This drug works by harnessing the recipient’s own immune system to fight the cancer. In addition to mesothelioma, Tremelimumab is being studied in combination with additional drugs for treatment of other cancers.
Research for drugs and alternative treatments continues in the fight against mesothelioma with the goal of one day having a cure for this dread disease.
More details are included in the AstraZeneca press release “Tremelimumab granted Orphan Drug Designation by US FDA for treatment of malignant mesothelioma” at www.astrazeneca.com.