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New drug targets blood cancer


A drug approved by regulators in America will give new hope to patients suffering from a deadly form of blood cancer, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Vyxeos, developed thanks to investment from the LLS-funded Therapy Acceleration Program® (TAP), has been backed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The combination of two chemotherapy drugs, it is targeted at adults with two forms of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

“Vyxeos combines two commonly used chemotherapies into a single formulation that may help some patients live longer than if they were to receive the two therapies separately,” explained Dr  Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence.

LLS has funded the development of Vyxeos since 2009 through TAP, which invests in biotechnology companies to help them advance drugs designed to meet ‘unmet medical needs’.

“The vision for our innovative Therapy Acceleration Program® has become a reality with this approval, which will help patients with high-risk AML who are in desperate need of more options,” said Louis DeGennaro, LLS president and CEO. “From the start, LLS recognized the potential of Vyxeos, and we are very gratified by this opportunity to deliver better treatments and outcomes for patients with high-risk AML. In its 10th year, TAP is demonstrating its effectiveness at accelerating cancer treatments, as Vyxeos is the first TAP-supported therapy approved by the FDA, a significant achievement for LLS’s venture philanthropy model. More LLS-supported therapies are currently under FDA review.”


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