Cemiplimab is in clinical developmentfor the treatment of advanced or metastatic nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer. Advanced/metastatic cancer is when the cancer has spread outside of the original tumour site, into other areas of the body, and is not usually curable. A proportion of these patients are positive for a protein called PD-L1, which controls the activity of immune cells called T-cells, and therefore the ability of the immune system to attack cancer cells. Advanced NSCLC is not usually curable; there is therefore the need for additional treatment options.
Cemiplimab is a type of protein called an antibody, which can bind to PD-1 and prevent it interacting with PD-L1. Therefore, it allows the T-cells to attack the cancer cells. Cemiplimab is administered by intravenous infusion. The results from clinical trials have suggested that intravenous administration of cemiplimab increases overall survival in individuals with advanced/metastatic NSCLC who are positive for PD-L1. Therefore, if licensed, cemiplimab would offer an additional treatment option for patients with advanced/metastatic PD-L1 positive NSCLC.