FDA Approves New CAR-T Therapy for Multiple Myeloma

The approval could open the door to more Western pharmaceutical companies looking to bring China-developed therapies to the U.S.

Multiple myeloma, aka Kahler’s disease, is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell, and inhibits their ability to fight infection. The American Cancer Society estimates it causes more than 12,400 deaths in the U.S. each year. Prior to this week, there was only one therapy available, which caused supply issues. A recent article from The Wall Street Journal discussed the FDA’s approval of a second CAR-T cancer therapy to treat multiple myeloma.

The new drug from J&J is called Carvykti, and it’s the first of its kind to be developed in China, which could pave a path for other Western drugmakers to follow suit and conduct their own confirmatory studies in the U.S. The cost of the one-time treatment is $465,000 per patient, and J&J estimates it could eventually generate more than $5 billion in revenue each year.

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