Lenalidomide created quite a stir on Wall Street on July 11, 2013 when shares of Celgene’s Revlimid, the brand name of Lenalidomide, soared. The frenzy occurred after Celgene released data from the Phase 3 study of Lenalidomide, revealing the great success of this blood cancer drug. Lenalidomide proved in Phase 3 studies to effectively halt the spread of the cancer multiple myeloma when used alongside the steroid dexamethasone. This news created an eruption of excitement within the pharmaceutical and medical world, propelling shares of Celgene’s Revlimid to experience a six percent jump in shares, to $133.40.
Phase 3 studies reported from Celgene involved 1,623 patients, and offered a new hope for patients with this fatal blood cancer diagnosis. The use of Lenalidomide is approved currently for affected patients when at least one prior treatment has failed. However, this powerhouse drug is not yet approved to treat patients who are newly diagnosed with blood cancer. The FDA has approved the use of Lenalidomide (Revlimid) for certain forms of anemia and the treatment of patients with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma called mantle cell lymphoma. The patent for Celgene’s Revlimid expires on October 4, 2019.
Lenalidomide is effective as it acts as a catalyst for the bone marrow of patients afflicted with blood cancers like multiple myeloma by producing healthy blood cells and killing abnormal blood cells. Lenalidomide is also in a novel class of medications called immunomodulatory drugs. While medications in the class of immunomodulatory drugs are quite potent and can cause adverse effects in many patients, the use of these drugs are crucial to treating these patients who would otherwise have no hope for survival of any kind.
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