Feb 12 U.S. health regulators on Wednesday
approved the Johnson & Johnson and Pharmacyclics Inc
cancer drug Imbruvica to treat chronic lymphocytic
leukemia, a slowly progressing form of blood cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration decision marks the second
approval recently for the medicine, known chemically as
ibrutinib. In November, the drug won U.S. approval to treat a
rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called mantle
cell lymphoma in patients who have received prior treatment with
at least one other therapy.
The latest approval is also for so-called second line
therapy after at least one prior treatment fails or stops
working, the FDA said.
"Today's approval provides an important new treatment option
for CLL patients whose cancer has progressed despite having
undergone previous therapy," Richard Pazdur, head of the FDA's
Office of Hematology and Oncology Products, said in a statement.