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AbbVie blood cancer drug fast-tracked by FDA

A possible blood cancer treatment developed by Abbvie Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has been picked by the Food and Drug Administration for fast-track review and possible approval.

The companies announced Monday the FDA’s designation of elotuzumab as a “breakthrough therapy.” The designation is intended to speed up development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions.

The therapy treats multiple myeloma, a progressive blood cancer that originates in the bone marrow. The companies said it is the second most common blood cancer and remains incurable. In 2014, about 24,050 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. and more than 11,000 Americans will likely die from the disease, the companies said.

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