Saturday, January 25, 2014
Pharmacyclic's Imbruvica: New Hope for Cancer Patients
Imbruvica, by Pharmacyclics (PCYC-$135.20), received accelerated approval for MCL based on a study where 111 participants were given Imbruvica daily until their disease progressed or side effects became intolerable. Results showed nearly 66 percent of participants had their cancer shrink or disappear after treatment (overall response rate).
Imbruvica blocks the function of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), a key signaling protein of the B-cell receptor signaling complexes that stimulate malignant B-cells to grow and divide uncontrollably.
MCL affects the white blood cells called lymphocytes found in the “mantle zone” of a lymph node. A rare form of NHL, and most prevalent in older adults (mean age, 68), MCL is an aggressive B-cell malignancy affecting about 6% of the 72,000 new cases of NHL diagnosed in the U.S. annually.
To date, first-line treatment has usually consisted of Roche’s monoclonal antibody Rituxan (rituximab) – which is directed against the CD20 antigen found on Beta lymphocytes – combined with a multi-agent chemotherapy regimen, most often CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone).
Given the complex pathophysiology of the disease (multiple cell-signaling division triggers), combined with a late-stage diagnosis typically discovered after the spread to the GI tract and bone marrow, MCL is characterized by short median survival times (3 – 5 years).
See more at YCharts: $10B Market By 2022: Pharmacyclic’s Piece of It