Potential Breakthrough in the Fight Against Cancer

Issue 73

A recent breakthrough in cancer treatment occurred Friday when Amgen Inc.’s new drug known as Lumakras was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Amgen Inc.’s new drug Lumakras is designed to treat a mutation of lung cancer known as KRAS.  This mutation is the most common among lung cancers and previously was believed to be untreatable by the use of drugs.

Lumakras is not designed to replace previous means of treatment; however, it is designed to act as a treatment once other common options have been exhausted.

Amgen’s new drug, which originally began testing in 2019, has given researchers more hope in the development of cancer treatment.  Amgen has been able to develop advanced treatment due to a greater understanding of the role of genetics and cell biology in disease.  The drug was able to control the cancer within 80.6% of patients and also allowed for patients to live for an average of 6.8 months without the cancer worsening.

Amgen has high hopes for their new drug as they expect to have an increase in patients requesting Lumakras treatment by 250,000 per year.  A spokeswoman from Amgen also stated that the company is intending on charging $17,000 per month for the new drug and is expected to reach $1 billion in annual sales by 2026.  However, skeptics have argued that in order to reach Amgen’s projections the company will need to prove that Lumakras is an effective treatment to those who have yet to attempt other, more common forms of treatment.

Skeptics have also made note of the belief that Amgen has a lack of scientific prowess and other companies such as Mirati Therapeutics Inc., Eli Lilly & Co., and Revolution Medicines Inc. are all working on their own drug for treating KRAS and are believed to do much better.

Source: NBC News