mardi 31 janvier 2012

FDA approves Erivedge (vismodegib) for basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer

Erivedge (vismodegib) was approved yesterday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adult patients with basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer. The drug is intended for use in patients with locally advanced basal cell cancer who are not candidates for surgery or radiation and for patients whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic).

Erivedge, reviewed under the agency’s priority review program, is the first FDA-approved drug for metastatic basal cell carcinoma. Erivedge was reviewed under the FDA’s priority review program that provides for an expedited six-month review of drugs that may offer major advances in treatment. The drug is being approved ahead of the March 8, 2012 prescription user fee goal date.

Basal cell carcinoma is generally a slow growing and painless form of skin cancer that starts in the top layer of the skin (epidermis). The cancer develops on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation.

Erivedge is a pill taken once a day and works by inhibiting the Hedgehog pathway, a pathway that is active in most basal cell cancers and only a few normal tissues, such as hair follicles.

The most common side effects observed in patients treated with Erivedge were muscle spasms, hair loss, weight loss, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, distorted sense of taste, decreased appetite, constipation, vomiting, and loss of taste function in the tongue.

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