The NHS has reached a landmark agreement with Amgen Pharmaceuticals to expand the distribution of Lumykras, a treatment option for lung cancer. Amgen will be providing Lumykras to 600 patients at discounted rates.
This agreement was followed by Project Orbis which granted access to Lumykras to 100 people in the U.K in September 2021. England’s price-regulatory authorities continue to evaluate Lumykras’s price in the U.K.
Lumykras is the second product available to cancer patients through the efforts of Orbis. Before Lumykras, it was AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso, another treatment option for lung cancer.
Drug regulating authorities in the U.S, Canada, the UK, and Australia have developed Orbis to accelerate the approval procedure for cancer therapies. Orbis played an important role in the approval process of many cancer drugs before the U.K joined this project.
Lumakras is the brand name for Amgen’s medication in the United States. It received the FDA green signal for a kind of non-small cell lung cancer that was thought to be “undruggable” in May of last year. It targets the KRAS G12C mutation, also known as the “death star” because of its spherical shape and treatment resistance. This mutation is found in about 13% of NSCLC patients.
Patients of NSCLC who cannot withstand platinum-based chemotherapy or anti-PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy can take Lumakras. This drug is the first novel medication to receive a Conditional Marketing Authorization (CMA).
Around 48,000 new cases of non-small cell lung cancer are diagnosed in the U.K every year. Lung cancer is the third-most common cancer and 85% of all lung cancer is NSCLC with 13% carrying KRAS-G12C mutation.
NHS’s clinical director for cancer, Peter Johnson, commented on the groundbreaking deal, “It is very exciting to see this ground-breaking treatment coming into use after 40 years of research on this important target,”
Lumykras is used as a second-line of treatment for lung cancer after chemotherapy has proven to be ineffective. Lumykras poses fewer side effects and has the added advantage of its convenient form of administration via a tablet taken at home.
Lumakras is expected to reach peak sales worth $1.3 billion by 2025. This milestone can be achieved if Amgen is able to win over competitors who are coming up with new drugs every day.