FLINT, Mich., Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that it will dispense COTELLIC® (cobimetinib) in combination with the BRAF inhibitor ZELBORAF® (vemurafenib) to treat patients with advanced melanoma that is unresectable (cannot be removed by surgery) or metastatic (cancer that has spread from the primary site).
The combination of COTELLIC® with ZELBORAF® helps patients with previously untreated BRAF V600 mutation-positive advanced melanoma live a median of one year (12.3 months) without their disease worsening, compared to 7.2 months with ZELBORAF® alone.
COTELLIC® is designed to selectively block the activity of MEK, one of a series of enzymes that make up a signaling pathway that helps regulate cell division and survival.
ZELBORAF® binds to and inhibits mutant forms of BRAF, another enzyme in the pathway, to interrupt abnormal signaling that can cause tumor growth.
Melanoma is less common, but more aggressive and deadlier than other forms of skin cancer. The BRAF gene is mutated in approximately half of all melanomas. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 73,870 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma this year and 9,940 will die from the disease.
"We are excited to dispense this combination treatment for patients suffering from advanced melanoma," said Gary Kadlec, president of Diplomat. "Patients in search of a new treatment option have an opportunity to explore one, with a therapy that combines the advantages of these two medications for a lasting impact."
ZELBORAF® was the first prescription treatment for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with BRAF V600 mutation as detected by a validated test. ZELBORAF® is not indicated for use in patients with wild-type BRAF melanoma.
COTELLIC® is manufactured by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Please see full prescribing information for COTELLIC® at http://www.gene.com/download/pdf/cotellic_prescribing.pdf.
To learn more about Diplomat, visit www.diplomat.is.
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give current expectations or forecasts of future events or our future financial or operating performance. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on management's good-faith belief and reasonable judgment based on current information. These statements are qualified by important risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those forecasted or indicated by such forward-looking statements. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, you should review Diplomat's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including "Risk Factors" in Diplomat's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and in subsequent reports filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as may be required by any applicable laws, Diplomat assumes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date hereof or the earlier date specified herein, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
Diplomat (NYSE: DPLO) serves patients and physicians in all 50 states. Headquartered in Flint, Michigan, the company focuses on medication management programs for people with complex chronic diseases, including oncology, immunology, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, HIV, specialized infusion therapy and many other serious or long-term conditions. Diplomat opened its doors in 1975 as a neighborhood pharmacy with one essential tenet: "Take good care of patients, and the rest falls into place." Today, that tradition continues—always focused on improving patient care and clinical adherence. For more information visit www.diplomat.is. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and like us on Facebook.
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SOURCE Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc.