North Hollywood, CA, July 20, 2012 – The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF)—the oldest and largest foundation dedicated to improving the life and care of myeloma patients—says today’s Food and Drug Administration approval of Onyx’s Kyprolis (carfilzomib) offers hope to myeloma patients who have run out of options when available therapies have stopped working.
“This is important news for patients, because Kyprolis provides a new option for patients to achieve remission and extend survival,” says Brian G.M. Durie, M.D., Chairman and Co-founder of the IMF. “Congratulations to the Onyx team.”
Members of the IMF appreciated the opportunity to participate at the recent ODAC hearing. IMF Vice President, Diane Moran, and IMF Director of Support Groups, Robin Tuohy along with her husband, Michael who is a myeloma patient presented dramatic and powerful testimony demonstrating the dire need to approve new drugs such as Kyprolis.
“The committee saw first-hand what access to a new drug like Kyprolis means for patients like Michael Tuohy, who can now look forward to more years with his family, watch his children graduate from college and even start families of their own,” says Susie Novis, President and Co-founder of the IMF.
The IMF has a long history of fighting on behalf of myeloma patients around the world for approval of new myeloma drugs such as Kyprolis, Velcade and Revlimid, and is now supporting approval of the newest drug pomalidomide.
Through the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) the IMF has provided tools such as the “International Response Criteria” and the benchmark for comparisons which document how new agents fulfill the unmet need in the relapsed setting. The IMF also has ongoing campaigns to fight for access to these drugs and equitable insurance reimbursement.
“The IMF always focuses on how we can best support myeloma patients and their families with information, education and unparalleled expertise. We formed the International Myeloma Working Group to bring together the world’s experts to determine how best to use the full array of myeloma treatments available, in what order and in what combination. Now we have something new in our toolkit to consider and we will help patients and physicians sort out where and when to use it to full advantage,” says Novis.
Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affect the immune system and can damage bone. It is increasing in numbers and is becoming more common in younger patients with possible links to environmental toxins. Recently, myeloma was added to the list of cancers covered in people exposed to the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.
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ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization, reaching more than 215,000 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. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org.