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J&J wins U.S. FDA approval for bladder cancer drug

Reuters

April 12 () - Johnson & Johnson's drug Balversa won U.S. approval as the first targeted therapy for advanced bladder cancer, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Friday.

The list price of the drug, known chemically as erdafitinib, will range between $10,080 to $22,680 for a 28-day supply, depending of the dose, J&J said.

Balversa is the first approved drug in a class known as FGFR inhibitors that targets growth factor receptors involved in cell growth and division.

Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States, with the FGFR alterations present in about one in five patients.

"We're in an era of more personalized or precision medicine, and the ability to target cancer treatment to a patient's specific genetic mutation or biomarker is becoming the standard," Richard Pazdur, head of the FDA's oncology products division, said in a statement.

J&J shares closed up 0.5 percent at $135.98. Shares of Incyte Corp , which is also developing a FGFR inhibitor, closed down 2 percent at $79.40.

The approval was based on a small 87-patient trial in which about a third of subjects experienced tumor shrinkage. The median duration before disease progression was 5.4 months.

Common side effects of the drug include high phosphate levels, mouth sores and fatigue. The drug may cause serious eye problems, including inflamed eyes, the FDA said.


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