The UAE has become the second country in the world to use a key Lung cancer drug, Lumakras following the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which will provide lung cancer patients early access to this innovative drug to help speed up their treatment plan and improve the quality of their life.
The FDA granted approval of Lumakras to Amgen Inc.
Lumakras is a film-coated tablet for oral administration that contains 120mg of Sotorasib. The drug is given to adults with KRAS G12C-mutated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have received at least one cancer therapy.
According to the official cancer portal of the UAE government, of the 4,500 new cancer cases reported each year, 150 are of lung cancer. While the number may seem relatively small, doctors warned that most cases that come to light are in an advanced stage.
The approval of the lung cancer drug was announced a week after UAE registered to use highly effective new treatment for COVID-19, becoming the world’s first country to endorse its use.
“KRAS mutations have long been considered resistant to drug therapy, representing a true unmet need for patients with certain types of cancer AND “Lumakras’s approval represents a significant step towards a future where more patients will have a personalized treatment approach,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Oncologic Diseases in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
In a study, researchers evaluated the efficacy of Lumakras in a study of 124 patients, out of which 36 percent had their tumors shrunk or disappeared.
Dr. Mohammed Salim Al Olama, MoHAP Under-Secretary and Head of Board of Directors of the Emirates Health Services (EHS) stated that the 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. Ahmed Mostafa, country manager of Amgen in GCC, said it was a proud moment. “Lumakras is a unique and unprecedented treatment,” he said.
Lung cancer accounts for 7 percent of all cancer cases in the UAE, with 90 percent of cases being caused by smoking.