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Amgen’s Blood Cancer Drug Extended Lifespan in Late-Stage Study

Update Date: Aug 04, 2014 09:46 AM EDT

Amgen Inc. announced that its blood cancer drug was successful so far in a late-stage study. The drug was capable of extending the lives of patients suffering from a common blood cancer known as multiple myeloma without disease progression.

In the trial, researchers tested the injectable drug called Kyprolis in combination with two treatments. The drug received accelerated approved in 2012 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for multiple myeloma. Accelerated approval allows doctors to use the drug for people with serious conditions who have not responded to other available treatments. In the meantime, the drug manufacturer is required to conduct larger trials.

The team compared the drug's success against two other treatments alone in 792 patients diagnosed with relapsed multiple myeloma. The patients had received therapy before the study. Patients who were given Kyprolis lived for a median of 26.2 months without the disease progressing. Patients who did not receive that drug, however, lived for a median of 17.6 months.

"We are excited about these clinical results and the positive prospects they suggest for patients with multiple myeloma," said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer of Amgen, according to Pharmaceutical Processing. "Our mission at Amgen is to serve patients by advancing medicines that address serious disease. Kyprolis is an important building block in our robust, differentiated pipeline."

Multiple myeloma is the second most common type of blood cancer. Within the U.S., roughly 70,000 people suffer from the condition with around 24,000 new cases per year.

The late-stage trial's findings could speed up the FDA's decision of granting the drugs full approval.

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