FDA-approved drug is now a first-line treatment for select patients with EGFR non-small cell lung cancer
Avella Specialty Pharmacy announced today that it has been selected by AstraZeneca to distribute IRESSA® (gefitinib) for a sub-set of patients with metastatic EGFRm positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The drug is approved as a first-line treatment for patients with metastatic NSCLC whose tumors have the most common types of epidermal growth factor gene mutations. Epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) are proteins found on the surface of cells that help them grow and divide. IRESSA works in those lung cancer patients with EGFR gene mutations by blocking the signal from EGFR that is causing cancer cells to rapidly grow and spread.
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the US for both men and women and kills more people than colorectal, breast and prostate cancer combined. According to the American Cancer Society, between 85-95 percent of all lung cancers are NSCLC. It is often diagnosed in people who smoke or who are exposed to large amounts of secondhand smoke, especially those over 65. Ten percent of people with NSCLC have EGFR mutations that can be treated with IRESSA.
“Avella is proud to have been selected by AstraZeneca to distribute IRESSA as a first-line treatment for certain lung cancer patients,” said Leslie Yendro, RN, Vice President of Business Development for Avella Specialty Pharmacy. “We feel privileged to offer such an innovative medication. Opportunities like these continue to validate our commitment to clinical excellence and compassionate support for all patients.”
About Avella Specialty Pharmacy
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Avella Specialty Pharmacy is a National Accredited Specialty Pharmacy, providing individualized care and support to patients since 1996. Avella's clinical pharmacists and staff members are experts in managing complex disease states and providing compassionate care. The company offers a nationwide distribution service to complement its retail locations. Avella reached 1,772nd on Inc. Magazine's 2014 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country. In addition, the Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards has named Avella Specialty Pharmacy as the fastest-growing private company based in the state. For more information, please visit www.avella.com.