In this episode, Ayesha talked about the recent FDA approval for Immunocore’s Kimmtrak for the treatment of a rare type of eye cancer called uveal melanoma. Not only has the treatment become Immunocore’s first commercial product, but it has also become the first approved treatment for uveal melanoma and the first-ever approved T cell receptor (TCR) therapeutic. Kimmtrak is priced at $400,000 per treatment course, and Immunocore has created a program to help make it accessible to patients. The editorial team discussed that while it is encouraging that therapeutic development in rare disease research has been increasing, the high cost of the treatments can be a significant barrier to access.
The editorial team also discussed how Pfizer and Moderna have commenced trials for their respective omicron-based vaccines. The companies announced that studies for their respective omicron targeting boosters had begun, and Moderna dosed its first trial participant last week. Given omicron’s significantly heightened transmissibility compared to other SARS-CoV-2 variants, and the reduced effectiveness of the current versions of the vaccines against it, the team discussed that it made sense to have an omicron-specific booster for better individual protection and to help curb transmission.
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