Libtayo drug (cemiplimab) approved for cancer immunotherapy the US

Skin cancer (CSCC type) can now be treated with Libtayo (cemiplimab) in the United States.

Cemiplimab enables the activity of the body’s immune system against cancer cells. In the early stages of the disease, immune system attacks and suppresses tumor, but during subsequent evolution cancer cells acquire an ability to disable natural body defence. One of the methods is the inhibition of PD-1 checkpoint. However, molecule governing this mechanism can be occupied by specific antibody-like cemiplimab.

It took three years from the first clinical trial to approval.

The treatment applies explicitly to advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC skin cancer). Further deployment to other diseases is possible in the future.

The approval comes a few days after the pioneers of cancer immunotherapy were awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine.

Common questions:

Is Libtayo an immunotherapy? Yes, Libtayo acts on human immune system by acting on PD-1 checkpoint. It circumvents natural ability of some cancers to avoid our immune cells.

Is Libtayo approved? Yes, Libtayo was approved in October 2018.

Does Libtayo work? Yes, FDA approved Libtayo based on its efficiency. Currently it works explicitly in the case of advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.