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Astellas bags orphan drug status for AML drug

January 23, 2018 / Selina McKee

Astellas’ experimental acute myeloid leukaemia drug gilteritinib has been awarded orphan drug designation by the European Commission. The decision indicates that the regulator believes the drug may be of significant benefit to patients with the rare condition, of which there are around 13,000 new cases diagnosed in Western Europe every year. Gilteritinib is being developed for adult patients with FLT3 mutation-positive relapsed or refractory AML, which is associated with especially poor outcomes. The drug, originally discovered through a research collaboration with Kotobuki Pharmaceutical, is currently being investigated in Phase III trials.