Celgene's Pomalidomide Helps in Myeloma After Others Fail
Published: Dec 12, 2012
Celgene Corp. (CELG), the world’s fourth- largest biotechnology company, said its experimental medicine for multiple myeloma helped fight the cancer after other therapies failed. Patients taking Celgene’s pomalidomide plus a low dose of the steroid dexamethasone lived a median 3.6 months without their disease worsening, compared with 1.8 months for patients taking a high dose of the steroid alone, according to data presented at the American Society of Hematology meeting in Atlanta today. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is set to make a decision on approval of pomalidomide by Feb. 10. European regulators are expected to decide in the second half of 2013, Summit, New Jersey-based Celgene said in a statement today. Pomalidomide, given orally, may draw more than $1 billion in annual revenue by 2017, according to the average of four analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The 455-person study, from the third and final phase of clinical trials generally required for approval, consisted of participants who had already taken Celgene’s Revlimid or Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (4502)’s Velcade. The prognosis in multiple myeloma patients for whom those therapies have stopped working is poor, with a median survival time of nine months, research has shown. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the white blood cells that will be diagnosed in an estimated 21,700 Americans this year, according to the National Cancer Institute. About 10,710 people will die from the disease in 2012, the institute estimates.