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ASCO conference: Sanofi drug reduces multiple myeloma risk by 40%

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ASCO conference: Sanofi drug reduces multiple myeloma risk by 40%

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The 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology takes place from May 31 to June 4.
Source: ASCO

Sanofi said its cancer drug isatuximab prolonged multiple myeloma patients' lives without the disease worsening by five months in a late-stage study.

When combined with Celgene Corp.'s Pomalyst and the steroid dexamethasone, isatuximab prompted a response in patients 60% of the time. Without isatuximab, the other drugs showed a 35% response rate.

Overall, the three-drug combination demonstrated a 40% reduction in the risk of disease worsening.

The French company announced the phase 3 results June 2 at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Isatuximab is a treatment designed to target a specific receptor on cancer cells that promotes their death. It is among a class of oncology drugs called anti-CD38 monoclonal antibodies.

"This outcome is noteworthy because this trial included a particularly difficult-to-treat, relapsed and refractory patient population that was, in my view, highly reflective of real-world practice," said principal investigator Paul Richardson, director of clinical research at the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Side effects were noticed in almost 87% of the patients receiving isatuximab. Of those receiving only the other drugs, just over 70% of the patients showed side effects.

Sanofi said in a release that multiple myeloma affects more than 138,000 people worldwide.

The 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting is expected to bring together more than 32,000 professionals from around the world, with more than 2,400 study abstracts to be presented on site and an additional 3,200 abstracts to be published online.