FDA approves new leukemia drug

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating a rare type of leukemia, the agency said Thursday.

The FDA approved South San Francisco, Calif.-based Talon Therapeutics' Marqibo (vincristine sulfate liposome), an injectable drug for Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblasic leukemia, or Ph-negative ALL.

The drug, which consists of the widely used anti-cancer drug vincristine encased within a liposome — a drug delivery system made of a material similar to cell membranes — is approved for patients whose leukemia has returned twice or more or has progressed after two or more regimens of therapy.

According to the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, more than 6,000 people will be diagnosed with ALL this year, and 1,440 will die from it. The disease is a rapidly progressing form of blood and bone marrow cancer more common in children than adults.


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