U.S. regulators have approved the first targeted drug for certain patients with an aggressive form of leukemia.
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the drug for adults with acute myeloid leukemia who have a genetic mutation called FLT3. Also OK'd was a test to identify those patients. The drug, Rydapt, known chemically as midostaurin, is used along with chemotherapy.
The drug's maker, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., said it is the first new medicine for the blood cancer in 25 years. It was also approved for three very rare blood disorders.
In patient testing, Rydapt with chemotherapy extended the time before the leukemia worsened or the patient died, compared to chemotherapy alone.
Novartis said the list price will be $14,990 for four weeks of treatment.