A recent move by the United Kingdom agency MHRA, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, may offer hope for more effective treatment and longer survival times for patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The group recently designated the drug nintedanib with the status of Promising Innovative Medicine, or PIM, which is the first step in a process that could lead to mesothelioma patients in the UK being able to use the medication as part of their treatment protocol.
Recent clinical studies conducted by drug manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim have offered indications that nintedanib may prove beneficial to patients with malignant mesothelioma. The company’s phase 2 LUME-MESO trial has shown statistically significant improvements in progression-free survival time, leading to almost 6 months before the asbestos-related diseases’s tumors return. Though the drug has not shown a statistically significant impact on overall survival, the promise of a longer period of relative health for patients was enough for the MHRA to move forward with the new status. The next step in the process would be for the drug to be approved for the Early Access to Medicines Scheme, which provides those diagnosed with the illness access to it before it actually reaches the marketplace.
Speaking of the decision, Professor Dean Fennell, Chair of Thoracic Medical Oncology at the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, UK said, “This is fantastic news and the right decision taking into account the risk/benefit profile of nintedanib from a very credible phase 2 trial.” Nintedanib has already been approved for use in the treatment of non-small lung cancer after chemotherapy treatment, and is sold in the UK under the brand name Vargatef.
Mesothelioma has proven to be an extremely challenging form of cancer to treat, and despite extensive research is still considered to be fatal. Adding nintedanib to the available treatment options would be the first such step since 2003, when the drug pemetrexed was approved for use in its treatment.
If you or someone you love has been impacted by malignant mesothelioma and you need information about the resources available to you, or your legal rights, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244. We are here to help.