UAE is second country to approve new lung cancer drug

Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: New York Times

Dubai: The UAE has become the second country in the world to approve the use of ‘Lumakras’, a lung cancer drug manufactured by Amgen Inc, a US multinational biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has recently approved the registration and use of Lumakras (sotorasib: AMG 510), following the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use it as the first treatment for adult patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). “The move will give lung cancer patients in the UAE early access to this innovative drug in order to help speed up their treatment plan and improve the quality of their life,” according to MoHAP.

Lumakras is supplied as film-coated tablets for oral use containing 120 mg of sotorasib. The drug is prescribed to adult patients with KRAS G12C-mutated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), who have received at least one previous cancer therapy.

The medicine registration comes in the wake of the application of MoHAP’s innovative mechanism for its accelerators to evaluate and approve the world’s breakthrough drugs in accordance with the Fast Track/Accelerate Process system.

Innovative treatment

Dr Mohammed Salim Al Olama

Dr Mohammed Salim Al Olama, MoHAP Under-Secretary and Head of Board of Directors of the Emirates Health Services (EHS), said “the UAE’s flexible legislative environment has stimulated the global pharmaceutical companies to choose the country as a hub for marketing and promoting their new and innovative products, which gives solutions to patients in the country and region.”

Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri

Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, MoHAP Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licenses, added the approval of the innovative treatment “would help mitigate the burden on the health care system and reduce the number of critical cases as well as provide new therapeutic options that contribute to improving the health of patients with lung cancer and reducing their need for medical treatment abroad.”

Dr Ahmed Mostafa

Dr Ahmed Mostafa, country manager of Amgen in GCC, for his part, said: “We are extremely proud of the UAE’s approval for Lumakras drug, making it the second country in the world, after the USA, that approved the medicine. Lumakras is a unique and unprecedented treatment for patients with KRAS G12C-mutated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).”