-IMF Calls for Rapid Approval of Reimbursement throughout the E.U.-
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif., and BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, June 19 /CNW/ -- The
International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) - supporting research and providing
education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers
and physicians - today applauded the EMEA decision to grant marketing
authorization for REVLIMID(R) (lenalidomide) for use in multiple myeloma.
REVLIMID is the newest of a group of treatments together called novel
therapies that are changing the course of treatment for myeloma. With today's
action REVLIMID is now approved in Europe for myeloma patients who have
received at least one prior therapy.
"Until we have a cure for multiple myeloma we need a strong arsenal of
drugs that we can use in combination and in sequence to maintain remission,
and REVLIMID is a powerful addition to that arsenal," said Brian G.M. Durie,
M.D., chairman and co-founder of the IMF. "In fact it is so powerful that we
are now considering medical options for newly diagnosed patients, in place of
costly and debilitating bone marrow transplants that until now have been a
standard of care."
REVLIMID, an oral drug from Celgene, has been approved in the United
States (along with a steroid) for previously treated myeloma patients since
June 2006, and for certain patients with malignant blood disorders called
myelodysplastic syndromes since December 2005.
"We have seen the benefits of an expanded arsenal of drugs in the United
States for more than a year, and we call upon the member nations of the E.U.
to rapidly include REVLIMID in their local formularies to make it available
for reimbursement," said Susie Novis president and co-founder of the IMF.
"Physicians here in Europe are telling us that they want REVLIMID and patients
are telling us they need it. Here are some examples."
"Many patients with limited options are urgently waiting for a new and
effective therapeutic strategy." Dr. Antonio Palumbo, IMF Scientific
Advisory Board, and the Univ. of Torino, Italy.
"The possibility of using REVLIMID gives us new perspectives in
treating patients." Dr. Felipe Prosper, University of Navarra,
"My mother has had several bad side effects from her current treatment.
We wait impatiently for REVLIMID." Emmanuelle Peckre, on behalf of her
mother in France.
"We have been hoping my husband could get REVLIMID. His doctor says it
is less toxic, but it is not available yet here in Sweden." Tytti Kvam,
To support and empower myeloma patients in Europe, the IMF will conduct
Patient and Family Seminars in France and Italy in September, Spain in October
and Germany in November. The IMF is also participating in medical meetings in
Greece and Russia, and participated in the recently concluded EHA meeting in
Austria. The IMF works closely with the European Myeloma Platform (EMP), a
patient-based advocacy organization in Europe, helping to secure local
"We have been working to make REVLIMID available here in Europe as soon
as possible, because as I can personally attest, for many patients like
myself, REVLIMID may be their best remaining option," said Rolf Pelzing, EMP
Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of cells in the bone
marrow that affects production of red cells, white cells and stem cells. It
affects an estimated 750,000 people worldwide, and in industrialized countries
it is being diagnosed in growing numbers and in increasingly younger people.
ABOUT The International Myeloma Foundation
The International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma
organization, reaching more than 135,000 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 100 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline,
and operates Bank on a Cure(R), a unique gene bank to advance myeloma
research. The IMF can be reached at +1-818-487-7455. The global Website is
http://www.myeloma.org with a companion Website in Spanish at
MEDIA: Stephen Gendel, BioCom Partners, +1-212-918-4650
For further information:
For further information: IMF, +1-818-487-7455; Stephen Gendel of BioCom
Partners, +1-212-918-4650 Web Site: http://www.myeloma.org