FDA approves Erwinaze for acute lymphoblastic leukemia


The US Food and Drug Administration has granted market approval for a new treatment for a subset of patients suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most commonly diagnosed childhood cancer and one with a generally very good prognosis.

Erwinaze's specific indication is for ALL patients previously treated with asparaginase and who develop hypersensitivity to Escherichia coli derived asparaginase.

Erwinaze is a so-called "asparaginase enzyme" which works by depleting asparagine levels in the bloodstream. In doing so, Erwinaze inhibits the growth of cells associated with ALL. Asparaginase products are derived from bacteria, and approximately 20% of patients develop hypersensitivity to modern products derived from E. coli, preventing their continued treatment.

Erwinaze helps the patient overcome that hypersensitivity so that they are able to complete the full course of asparaginase treatment.

Erwinaze is manufactured by EUSA Pharma. For more information, please visit the company web site.

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