CFI welcomes Government approval of new CF drug Symkevi
Cystic Fibrosis Ireland welcomes Irish Government approval of a new Cystic Fibrosis drug Symkevi. This is the third in a series of groundbreaking and innovative drugs for CF in Ireland. These are precision CFTR drugs that treat the underlying cause of CF and are aimed at particular CF gene mutations- hence the need for more than one drug.
Symkevi is designed for those with the most common CF gene mutation in Ireland and worldwide, which is people with 2 copies of the F508del mutation (57% of the CF population in Ireland).
Symkevi is also aimed at those with 1 copy of the F508del mutation and one of 14 mutations.
The other 2 CFTR drugs that were previously approved by the Irish Government are Kalydeco (2013) and Orkambi (2017). The innovative deal struck in 2017 between Vertex and the HSE provided for both Orkambi but also known drugs that were 'in the pipeline' (i.e. undergoing very positive clinical trials, such as Symkevi). Similar deals using this pipeline approach have since been struck with the Netherlands and Sweden.
The EMA approved Symkevi in November 2018, the Irish Government approved Symkevi today (20 December) and CFI expects this important to be available to patients in January 2019
Philip Watt, CEO of CFI stated: '
We thank again Ministers' Simon Harris TD and Finnian McGrath TD and An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD with the support of all political parties for ensuring new and groundbreaking drugs are provided to patients with CF in Ireland without delay.
CFI also wishes to express our support to other patients with rare disease seeking access to drugs such as Alpha 1 and Duchene Muscular Dystrophy and we welcome the recently announced extension of Pembro to Women with Cervical cancer in Ireland'.