FDA Approves New Treatment for Hairy Cell Leukemia

September 14, 2018

The agency approved AstraZeneca’s Lumoxiti (moxetumomab pasudotox-tdfk) injection for intravenous use for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory hairy cell leukemia.

On Sept. 13, 2018, FDA announced it approved AstraZeneca’s Lumoxiti (moxetumomab pasudotox-tdfk) injection for intravenous use for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory hairy cell leukemia (HCL) who have received at least two prior systemic therapies, including treatment with a purine nucleoside analog. 

HCL is a rare, slow-growing cancer of the blood in which the bone marrow makes too many B cells (lymphocytes), a type of white blood cell that fights infection. HCL is named after these extra B cells which look “hairy” when viewed under a microscope. As the number of leukemia cells increases, fewer healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets are produced.

Lumoxiti is a CD22-directed cytotoxin and is the first of this type of treatment for patients with HCL, according to the agency. The drug contains the CD22 binding portion of an antibody fused to a truncated bacterial toxin; the toxin inhibits protein synthesis and triggers apoptotic cell death. Lumoxiti was granted orphan drug designation by FDA for the treatment of HCL.

“Lumoxiti fills an unmet need for patients with hairy cell leukemia whose disease has progressed after trying other FDA-approved therapies,” said Richard Pazdur, MD, director of FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in an agency press release. “This therapy is the result of important research conducted by the National Cancer Institute that led to the development and clinical trials of this new type of treatment for patients with this rare blood cancer.”

Source: FDAAstraZeneca