New drug approved for lack of certain white blood cells

August 30, 2012

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug tbo-filgrastim to treat certain cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who have a condition called severe neutropenia, the FDA said in a news release.

Neutropenia, sometimes triggered by certain , is characterized by a decrease in infection-fighting called neutrophils. Tbo-filgrastim stimulates the bone marrow to increase output of neutrophils. The new drug, injected about 24 hours after chemotherapy is administered, is meant for adults who do not have cancers of the blood or bone marrow, the FDA said.

Tbo-filgrastim was evaluated among 348 adults with who received the chemotherapy drugs doxorubicin and docetaxel. People who received the tbo-filgrastim recovered from severe neutropenia in an average of 1.1 days, compared with 3.8 days among adults given a placebo, the agency said.

Bone pain was the most common side effect of the new drug observed in clinical testing, the FDA said.

Tbo-filgrastim is produced by Sicor Biotech, a unit of the Israeli pharmaceutical firm Teva Corp.

Explore further: FDA approves first drug for bone marrow disorder

More information: To learn more about neutropenia, visit the Mayo Clinic.

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