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Trillium skin cancer treatment receives US FDA's orphan drug status

Trillium Therapeutics Inc. said its skin cancer treatment TTI-621 received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's orphan drug designation.

The drug, being studied as a treatment for cutaneous T cell lymphoma, works by activating the patient's immune system after blocking the activity of CD47, a protein commonly found on the surface of cancer cells.

Cutaneous T cell lymphoma is a rare type of cancer that begins in the white blood cells and attacks the skin.

The orphan drug status will help expedite development of the Toronto-based company's drug. Once approved, the treatment will be eligible for seven years of market exclusivity.