Drug to combat common form of skin cancer approved

By | January 31, 2012

Drug to combat common form of skin cancer approved

Federal regulators today approved the first drug for people with advanced forms of basal cell carcinoma, the most common kind of skin cancer as well as the most common cancer in general in the United States.

The drug, made by South San Francisco’s Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drug giant Roche, is designed for patients whose basal cell cancer has spread either locally or to other parts of the body. While basal cell carcinoma is generally considered curable, it can spread in some patients and in some cases cannot be treated with surgery or radiation.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug, which is called Erivedge, after an expedited six-month review and in advance of the March 8 approval deadline.

“For patients with disease that has metastasized, these patients have no other treatment option,” said Dr. Jennifer Low, global development leader for the drug. “This disease can be very devastating and in some cases life threatening and I think the FDA realized that.” …


It will cost over $7,000/month per person. How much does it really cost to make?

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