In a notable development for patients diagnosed with unresectable malignant mesothelioma, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given its approval for a new version of the chemotherapy drug pemetrexed to be used in the treatment of the rare and fatal form of cancer. Pemetrexed, which is sold under the brand name Alimta and manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company, will be available in an injectable form under the brand name Pemfexy starting in February of 2022.
Pemfexy Provides A New Way for Mesothelioma Patients to Receive Chemotherapy
Pemfexy is an injectable form of the chemotherapy drug pemetrexed made by New Jersey-based Eagle Pharmaceuticals. It has been approved for use in treating both unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma and advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer. It is a ready-to-dilute formulation of the same drug, and its manufacturer has been fighting Eli Lilly’s patent protections for the last several months. A settlement was reached in December and Eagle quickly sought and received the FDA approval.
Though the FDA has cleared the way for the drug to be used on February 1, 2022, it will not be widely available until two months later on April 1st. The drug is already widely used in other countries, and is expected to quickly account for one third of total use of pemetrexed once April 1, 2022 has passed.
Mesothelioma Doctors Eager to Learn More About New Drug’s Applications
According to medical experts, the injectable form of the chemotherapy drug is administered into a vein for approximately ten minutes. This represents significantly less time than the intravenous drip method that is required for standard chemotherapy for Alimta. Though some oncologists have expressed interest in injecting the substance directly into unresectable tumors, it remains to be seen whether it can be used in that way.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and need information on the different treatment options available to you, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.