Blood cancer drug is approved

21 June 2012

A new drug that can potentially offer hope to people suffering from blood cancer has been approved by a major healthcare regulatory body, paving the way for global rollout.

The US Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously in favour of Kyprolis, which is manufactured by Onyx Pharmaceuticals, as a treatment for multiple myeloma in people who have tried at least two other medicines.

Although relatively rare, multiple myeloma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with half of all people diagnosed with the condition dying from it.

The FDA Panel voted 11-0 in favour of Kyprolis over a similar drug carfilzomib, the safety and effectiveness of which was recently brought into question after a study revealed it could have negative side-effects on the function of the heart and lungs.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals described the approval as 'an important regulatory milestone' and said it could lead to the drug being rolled out across the world to treat multiple myeloma sufferers.

Speaking to Reuters, Dr. Michael Menefee, assistant professor in haematology and oncology at the Mayo Clinic, said: "I do think this drug is beneficial to this patient population given the limited therapeutic options available."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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