The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 27 approved Amgen’s cancer immunotherapy drug Imlygic for use in patients with the most deadly types of skin cancer.
Imlygic, which is the first immunotherapy like this to gain approval for use in the U.S., is a genetically modified herpes virus that is designed to replicate itself within tumors and produce a protein. After injection into a tumor, the virus then kills cancer cells from the inside out using the protein.
Amgen intends to make Imlygic available to patients in the U.S. within a week. Because it is a new and experimental drug, Amgen expects dosing to vary for each patient, but the company expects a course of treatment to cost about $65,000.
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