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Side effects don’t stop FDA panel from backing GSK blood cancer drug

July 15, 2020

The BCMA protein has emerged as a target of interest in multiple myeloma because it is expressed on malignant cells but not on normal tissue. As a result, drugmakers have developed several different approaches to home in on BCMA-expressing cells, including CAR-T cell therapy, which has been successful in treating other blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

Belantamab mafodotin links a BCMA-targeting antibody to a chemotherapy payload. The combined drug binds to diseased cells and releases the chemotherapy into the diseased cells while sparing healthy tissue. GSK is asking FDA to approve it in very sick patients whose disease has progressed following four previous rounds of multiple myeloma therapy.

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