Big Pharma and the Fight against Mesothelioma

When on the search for new mesothelioma treatments, it’s important to look into the contributions and research of large pharmaceutical companies. To gauge where industry trends and goals lie, one can investigate drugs and treatments that are in the clinical trial stage to get an idea of Big Pharma priorities.

Take, for example, one drug that Bristol-Myers Squibb developed as a treatment for lung disease, which may also work for mesothelioma. The drug showed positive results in the first round of clinical trials, and the pharmaceutical company seems to be on the way to finding a treatment benefit for the drug, known currently as BMS-936558.

Last September, Merck was working on a mesothelioma drug known as Zolinza, but that drug failed in Phase III of testing and right now the results of this research is not clear.

Without initially intending to, GlaxoSmithKline may have unlocked a key to mesothelioma treatment. The company had previously developed a kidney cancer drug that is now being investigated in light of mesothelioma treatment. The drug, Votrient (pazopanib), is now in testing with oncologists at the Mayo Clinic to study its effect on mesothelioma.

According to a doctor involved in the study. Dr. Juan Molina, “We took pazopanib and added it to mesothelioma cells that we had in the lab, and we noticed that pazopanib was very effective at killing these cancer cells.

The new drug appears to approve survival times in mesothelioma patients for between 6 to 18 months. This is no small feat when one considers that the median survival time for a mesothelioma patient is only about 12 months.