The FDA approved Cosela (trilaciclib), a drug designed to help protect bone marrow (myeloprotection) when administered prior to treatment with chemotherapy. It is the only therapy available for this.
Cosela should be commercially available in early March and was created by G1 Therapeutics, Inc. It is administered intravenously.
According to an FDA press release: “The approval of trilaciclib (Cosela) is an important advance in the treatment of patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer receiving chemotherapy,” said Dr. Jeffrey Crawford, professor for research in cancer at Duke's Department of Medicine and member of the Duke Cancer Institute. “The most serious and life-threatening side effect of chemotherapy is myelosuppression, or damage to the bone marrow, resulting in reduced white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.
"Chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression may lead to increased risks of infection, severe anemia, and/or bleeding. These complications impact patients’ quality of life and may also result in chemotherapy dose reductions and delays. To date, approaches have included the use of growth factor agents to accelerate blood cell recovery after the bone marrow injury has occurred, along with antibiotics and transfusions as needed. By contrast, trilaciclib provides the first proactive approach to myelosuppression through a unique mechanism of action that helps protect the bone marrow from damage by chemotherapy.
"In clinical trials, the addition of trilaciclib to extensive-stage small cell lung cancer chemotherapy treatment regimens reduced myelosuppression and improved clinical outcomes. The good news is that these benefits of trilaciclib will now be available for our patients in clinical practice.”
Chemotherapy kills both cancer cells and healthy cells. It also damages bone marrow, which can increase the risk of infection and anemia, among other things. The newly approved drug should reduce some chemotherapy-related toxicity, making chemotherapy safer and more tolerable.
According to the FDA: "Cosela is administered intravenously as a 30-minute infusion within four hours prior to the start of chemotherapy and is the first FDA-approved therapy that helps provide proactive, multilineage protection from chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression. The approval of Cosela is based on data from three randomized, placebo-controlled trials that showed patients receiving Cosela prior to the start of chemotherapy had clinically meaningful and statistically significant reduction in the duration and severity of neutropenia. Data also showed a positive impact on red blood cell transfusions and other myeloprotective measures."
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