FDA approves Spectrum Pharma's blood cancer drug

Reuters

July 3 (Reuters) - Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc's drug for the treatment of an aggressive form of blood cancer was granted an accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday.

The drug, Beleodaq, has been approved for patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer of the lymph nodes. (http://1.usa.gov/1iZVgY6)

The regulator grants an accelerated approval to a drug based on initial trials that show the medicine's benefit for patients with serious conditions with few or no treatment options.

Upon approval, the drug is subject to trials that must confirm its benefit.

Beleodaq works by blocking enzymes that contribute to T-cells, a type of immune cell, becoming cancerous.

The drug is intended for patients who have either relapsed or have not responded to prior treatment.

Beleodaq is the third drug to win approval for the condition since 2009, the other two being Spectrum's injection Folotyn and Celgene Corp's drug Istodax.

Irvine, California-based Spectrum's shares were up 5.5 percent at $9.20 in late morning trading on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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