Health Canada approves Tasigna for newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML

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A significant improvement over the gold standard in treating a white blood cell cancer

Over a decade ago, Canadian patients diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), celebrated when PrGleevec (imatinib mesylate) was approved in Canada. Those stricken with the white blood cell cancer finally had an effective treatment option that changed their cancer from a terminal disease to a manageable, chronic illness. Considered groundbreaking in the world of cancer, the new treatment even made major headlines around the world.

Today, a more effective and well tolerated therapeutic option has been added to the treatment arsenal in the war against CML. Tasigna (nilotinib capsules) 150 mg has been granted a marketing authorization with conditions by Health Canada  for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML (Ph+ CML) in the chronic phase (first phase) of the disease.

"We are pleased by Health Canada's approval of Tasigna for newly diagnosed CML patients," says Dr. Jeffrey Lipton, a medical oncologist with Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. "This means Canadian physicians now have a more effective option than the current gold standard which has significant benefit for patients. Whereas Gleevec provided a good response for CML patients, targeting cancer cells, Tasigna goes even further by putting patients into a faster and deeper remission, rendering the disease almost undetectable. Most importantly, disease progression has been markedly reduced."

Source: NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS CANADA INC.

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