Aliqopa Approved for Follicular Lymphoma

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THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Aliqopa (copanlisib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with relapsed follicular lymphoma who have received at least two prior treatments with certain other drugs.

Follicular lymphoma is a slow-growing cancer of the lymph system of the type known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. More than 72,000 people in the United States are likely to be diagnosed with some form of the illness this year, and more than 20,000 will die from the disease, federal estimates project.

Aliqopa is among a class of drugs called kinase inhibitors that are designed to block enzymes that spur cancer growth, the FDA explained Thursday in a news release.

The drug was given accelerated approval based on a 104-person clinical study, which found 59 percent of users had complete or partial response after an average of 12 months. As a condition of approval, the German drug maker Bayer Healthcare is required to conduct additional testing, which is ongoing, the agency said.

Potential side effects could include high blood sugar, diarrhea, loss of strength, high blood pressure, low white blood cell count and low blood platelets. More serious adverse reactions could include infections, lung inflammation and severe skin reactions.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn't take Aliqopa, the FDA warned.

-- Scott Roberts

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SOURCE: Sept. 14, 2017 press release, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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