Mesothelioma litigation is a type of toxic tort lawsuit most commonly brought against manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers of asbestos. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral known for its insulating and fire-retardant properties, and was once used as a staple in most insulating products, many industrial and construction products. Sadly, asbestos fibers produce fine dust particles that, when inhaled, form deposits in the lungs that can cause serious and deadly illnesses. Both firsthand and secondhand exposure to asbestos can put an individual at risk. Such lawsuits are sometimes difficult to prove because often, a great period of time elapses between exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Currently, there is only one FDA-approved mesothelioma drug on the market; however, it looks as though this might be changing for the better. Recently, a Massachusettes-based biopharmaceutical company, Verastem, Inc., released exciting news about a new drug in their pipeline.  The company revealed plans to test the new drug’s efficacy in patients, starting in mid-2013.

Verastem’s new drug, VS-6063, acts by attacking the “tumor-initiating” cells. These cells are the “bad actors in the play of cancer,” said Robert Forrester, Verastem’s President and Chief Operating Officer. He further explained, “If we can kill them off, we can keep the tumor in check for a longer period.” Verastem hopes to recruit 300-350 mesothelioma patients for their upcoming clinical trial.