(Adds detail, context)
Oct 14 AbbVie Inc won the conditional
backing of an advisory committee of the European Medicines
Agency (EMA) on Friday for a drug to treat a form of blood
The tablet, venclyxto, or venetoclax, is aimed at chronic
lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) patients with either 17p gene
deletion or TP53 mutation, which are markers for a particularly
aggressive form of the disease. (bit.ly/2dYKT7R)
AbbVie said patients with these markers have a median life
expectancy of less than two to three years.
The EMA grants conditional approval for drugs that fill an
unmet medical need for serious conditions and show early
evidence of clinical benefits outweighing the risks.
Venclyxto, developed by AbbVie and Roche Holding AG,
was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April
to treat the disease.
AbbVie will market the drug outside the United States, while
both companies will sell it in the country under the brand name
Cancer has been a focus area for AbbVie as it looks to
reduce dependence on its arthritis treatment Humira, the world's
As part of the strategy, Chicago-based AbbVie bought
privately held Stemcentrx and its experimental treatment for
small-cell lung cancer in April for $5.8 billion.
Shares in Abbvie were untraded premarket at 1300 GMT.
(Reporting by Mamidipudi Soumithri in Bengaluru; Editing by
Sriraj Kalluvila and Martina D'Couto)