Posted on January 15th, 2015 by
Genentech announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for Gazyva in combination with chlorambucil chemotherapy in people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Gazyva was the first medicine approved with the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation, and was approved for use in combination with chlorambucil in people with previously untreated CLL in late, 2013.
CLL is characterized by the production of atypical lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are specialized immune cells that exist in two forms: B- and T-cells. These cells are produced in the bone marrow and each serves a specific function in aiding the body to fight infection. The large majority of CLL cases involve mature B-lymphocytes that tend to live much longer than normal. B-lymphocytes accumulate in the blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and spleen. This results in overcrowding of these areas and suppression of the formation and function of blood and immune cells. Additionally, the cancerous lymphocytes themselves do not function normally, leading to a further reduction in the body’s ability to fight infection. The disease tends to get worse slowly.
The sBLA approval updated the Gazyva prescribing information with the following data:
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