Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's skin cancer drug, Yervoy, has been given approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, becoming the first melanoma drug to gain an approval in 13 years.
The Injectable ipilimumab drug has been hailed as the best drug available in the market to prolong the lives of those suffering from the deadly skin disease. So far the FDA has only given its approval to two drugs for the disease though none of them have proved to be very effective.
The drug blocks off a molecule known as CTLA-4 which is key to melanoma since it interferes with the activity of white blood cells. However when the molecule is blocked, then the WBCs continue their fight against the cancer cells.
Expressing his happiness over the approval for the drug, Melanoma Research Foundation's Tim Turnham said, "Clearly this is not a home run, but it's a solid base hit. And because we see other things in the pipeline, we think this the first in a series of important new therapies for melanoma."