First cancer drug that turn off body’s immune system proteins approved

| September 9, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the first drug in a new class of cancer medicines that work by stimulating the immune system, a Merck drug developed for treating deadly skin cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration says it granted accelerated approval for the use of Merck & Co Inc’s immuno-oncology drug Keyrtruda, also know as pembrolizumab, as a treatment for patients with advance melanoma, who are no longer responding to other therapies.

The drug is the first in a promising new class of antibody-based drugs that work by taking a brake off the immune system so it can better recognize and attack cancer cells. The drug is designed to help the body’s own immune system fend off cancer by blocking a protein known as Programmed Death receptor (PD-1), or a related target known as PD-L1, used by tumors to evade disease-fighting cells.

“This is the latest in a string of major breakthroughs in melanoma treatment that will galvanize the field of melanoma research and cancer treatment,” Wendy Selig, Melanoma Research Alliance president and CEO, said in a statement.

Read the full, original story: FDA approves Merck immune-stimulating drug for melanoma

Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend