The International Myeloma Foundation Says Pomalidomide Approval in Europe Addresses Critical Need for More Treatment Options for Patients

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The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure – today applauded European approval of pomalidomide the newest drug for multiple myeloma treatment.

Pomalidomide (IMNOVID® in Europe and POMALYST® in the U.S.) is an IMiDs® compound an immunomodulatory agent taken as an oral medication. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has granted marketing authorization of pomalidomide for patients who have exhausted other treatment options.

“It is vital that we keep delivering new treatment options to myeloma patients because remissions are not a cure and previous treatments often stop working” said Brian G.M. Durie M.D. Chairman and Co-founder of the IMF. “We must ensure that patients have access to innovative therapies such as pomalidomide that have been shown to extend remissions when available options run out. We are working to find a cure for myeloma but in the meantime we are pleased to see new innovative treatments spreading to patients worldwide.”

Pomalidomide attacks myeloma in multiple ways fighting the cells directly as well as stimulating the immune system to aid cancer cell destruction. In a recent Phase III clinical study it increased survival when measured against a comparison regimen.

“Now that the EMA has recognized the clinical benefits of pomalidomide we must work toward swift reimbursement approvals throughout Europe to make pomalidomide available to patients” said Susie Novis President and Co-founder of the IMF. “We understand the need among patients in Europe and through the IMF’s global advocacy arm are working to ensure the best outcomes possible for patients there and around the world.”

Pomalidomide is the first new myeloma drug approved in Europe since REVLIMID® (lenalidomide) was approved in 2007. The IMF also applauds the EMA’s recent expanded approval of VELCADE® (bortezomib) which is now approved for previously untreated myeloma patients before stem cell transplantation.

The IMF recently launched its Black Swan Research Initiative® to not only begin to cure myeloma but to develop a way to determine the efficacy of new drugs in months rather than years. This could speed global approval of new drugs and lower the cost of bringing a drug to market. Pomalidomide has been available in the U.S. since February and another new drug KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib) has been available in the U.S. for just over a year.

Myeloma also called multiple myeloma is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affects production of red cells white cells and stem cells and can damage bone. It is growing in numbers and affecting increasingly younger people.

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION

Celebrating its 22nd anniversary the International Myeloma Foundation reaches more than 215000 members in 113 countries worldwide. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and their families the IMF focuses on four key areas: research education support and advocacy. To date the IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide maintains a world-renowned hotline and established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients.