US FDA approves Genmab-AbbVie’s blood cancer therapy

(Reuters) -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved AbbVie Inc and Danish drugmaker Genmab’s blood cancer therapy for adult patients who have received at least two prior lines of treatment, the companies said on Friday.

The drug, epcoritamab, to be sold under the brand name Epkinly was developed to treat a type of advanced large B-cell lymphoma, a cancer that starts in white blood cells.

Epcoritamab belongs to a class of drugs called bispecific antibodies that uses complex therapeutic proteins with the potential to latch onto the body’s immune cells and attack cancer cells.

The approval makes epcoritamab the first of its kind to get the FDA’s nod for the disease which has about 150,000 new cases each year globally, according to the companies.

Swiss drugmaker Roche is developing glofitamab (Columvi) for the same indication and is under review by the FDA. The agency is expected to make a decision by July 1 this year.

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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