UK approves first therapy under new fast-track access program
- The UK is implementing a new Promising Innovative Medicine (PIM) program as a first step in the new Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS).
- Under the EAMS program, patients with life-threatening diseases will have access to new drugs earlier than they normally would.
- The first drug to gain such a designation is DCVax-L, an immunotherapeutic cancer drug that is being developed to treat various solid tumor cancers.
DCVax-L works by retraining the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. The PIM for DCVax-L covers malignant melanomas (including glioblastoma multiforme), which means that under the new scheme, patients with this type of cancer can get the drug before it is formally approved.
This type of fast-track access program offers patients hope and also provides pharma companies with some peace of mind by letting them know that they are on the right track as they attempt to win formal regulatory approval.