LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Lung cancer patients in England
will become the first in Europe to receive a drug made by U.S.
biotech Amgen Inc that targets a specific gene
mutation, the country's health service said on Friday.
NHS England said it was fast-tracking lung cancer drug
sotorasib after it was shown in clinical trials to stop lung
cancer progression for seven months.
The drug, taken as a tablet, will be used on patients with
the KRAS G12C mutation that occurs in about 13% of non-small
cell lung cancers (NSCLC), the most common type of lung cancer.
The early-access deal will see 600 patients a year receive
sotorasib in England through the state-run National Health
"This revolutionary treatment has taken decades of research
to reach the clinic, and now that it is here this new targeted
drug will be available for eligible people with lung cancer as
quickly as possible thanks to this agreement," said Peter
Johnson, NHS clinical director for cancer.
Charles Swanton, chief clinician at charity Cancer Research
UK, said the drug was "one of the most exciting breakthroughs in
lung cancer treatment in 20 years, targeting a cancer gene that
was previously untargetable."
The use of sotorasib in Britain follows its accelerated
approval in May in the United States for lung cancer patients
with the KRAS G12C mutation whose disease has worsened after
treatment with chemotherapy or other medicines. It
is sold in the United States under the brand name Lumakras.
Britain's medicine regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare
products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has authorised the drug under
a partnership with U.S. and Australian counterparts designed to
speed up approval for promising cancer treatments, called Orbis.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout
Editing by Bill Berkrot)