A new mesothelioma drug received a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grant last month, which brings hope to many mesothelioma patients. Verastem, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, released the VS-5584, a medication that targets and reduces cancerous cells.
According to Verastem’s news release, the FDA granted VS-5584 an orphan drug designation for mesothelioma, meaning it is a medication developed to treat rare conditions. Verastem states that the designation of orphan drugs gives people hope and promise to those who live with rare diseases such as malignant mesothelioma. Per Verastam’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Forrester, the drug was recently given a grant in Europe as well.
“This is an important regulatory milestone for Verastem and, together with our European orphan medicinal product designation, will facilitate our global development of VS-5584 to help improve the available treatment options for patients suffering from this highly aggressive cancer. We look forward to taking full advantage of the opportunities that orphan designation allows in order to bring this potential new treatment option to patients as rapidly as possible.”
Recently, VS-5584 went through a Phase I study in which it was combined with another drug VS-6063, to see how mesothelioma patients reacted to it during clinical trials. Most of the patients have been in the study for more than six months, and Verastem states that the maximum benefits haven’t been reached yet.
Why is Mesothelioma Considered Rare?
Many wonder why mesothelioma is still considered a rare disease since it has already affected a myriad of people. However, a rare disease is one is which less than 200,000 in each country have been affected. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), around 3,000 people each year are diagnosed with the life-threatening illness. Compared to other serious diseases, such as breast cancer, in which over 200,000 are diagnosed each year, mesothelioma is still considered rare.
How VS-5584 Works
VS-5584 is taken orally to battle against mesothelioma cancerous cells. In earlier studies, the medication has been effective in significantly reducing these cells in chemotherapy-resistant models. Cancer cells are what causes metastasis and tumor recurrence. So far, the patients in the clinical trial have shown a lot of promise before the maximum dose has been reached.
“We believe we have the opportunity to change the way cancer is treated and to make a significant difference in the lives of many patients,” said Forrester. “We’re onto something really important here.”
What is VS-6063?
VS-6063, also administered orally, was used in combination with VS-5584 due to its similar way of targeting cancerous cells. However, while VS-5584 targets a particular class of enzyme found in the cancerous cells, VS-6063 targets another class of enzymes. When the two drugs work together, it stops the cancer from growing.
Next Steps for Verastem
Verastem continues to develop and study both VS-5584 and VS-6063, including looking for the risk factors associated with the drugs. Verastem is also conducted sole clinical trials on VS-6063, not only for mesothelioma, but for small-cell cancer and breast cancer as well. The clinical trials take place in 13 different countries at a total of 55 sites.
Keep in mind that if you are a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. We invite you to fill out our contact form today to get free brochures from the leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area. For questions and additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-694-4856.