LONDON, July 25 Two new leukaemia drugs from
Johnson & Johnson and Gilead Sciences have been
recommended for approval by European regulators, paving the way
for formal approval in a couple of months.
The European Medicines Agency said on Friday its experts had
issued positive opinions for J&J's ibrutinib, developed with
Pharmacyclics, and Gilead's idelalisib.
Ibrutinib, marketed at Imbruvica, was approved by U.S.
regulators for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
in February, while Gilead's idelalisib, which has the brand name
Zydelig, was approved in the United States last month.
The approvals reflect a rapid pace of progress in treating
CLL, a slowly progressing form of blood cancer, as scientists
develop better ways to target the biological pathways involved
in the disease.
Last November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also
approved Roche's Gazyva and the use of Arzerra, from
GlaxoSmithKline and Genmab, was expanded in
April 2014 to include CLL.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Tom Bergin)