FDA approves J&J drug for advanced multiple myeloma

FDA approves J&J drug for advanced multiple myelomaThe FDA has approved an experimental drug from Johnson and Johnson that may be able to help advanced multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is cancer of the plasma cells in the blood – plasma cells are found in bone marrow. The drug is called Darzalex and is intended for patients who have already tried three other forms of treatment with little or no success.

Darzalex is given as an infusion along with a monoclonal antibody that supports the immune system and helps attack cancer cells.


Darzalex has undergone a clinical trial, using 106 patients with multiple myeloma. What researchers found was that tumors shrank in 29 percent of the patients and benefits lasted on average for 7.4 months. In an additional trial of 42 patients, 36 percent of those on Darzalex saw a partial or complete reduction in tumors. This was the first time a drug was effective against myeloma without the assistance of other medications.

Commonly reported side effects of the drug were nausea, fatigue, back pain, fever and cough. It’s estimated that 26,850 Americans will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2015.

Patients in the clinical trials all became resistant to common treatments for myeloma, including Takeda’s Velcade, Celgene’s Revlimid, and Kyprolis.

The new approval offers hope to patients when other medications have failed them.


Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.