The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Xofigo (radium Ra 223 dichloride) to treat Prostate Cancer with symptomatic late-stage (metastatic) castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread to bones but not to other organs. It is intended for men whose cancer has spread after receiving medical or surgical therapy to lower testosterone.
Prostate cancer forms in a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The male sex hormone testosterone stimulates the prostate tumors to grow. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 238,590 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 29,720 will die from the disease in 2013.
Xofigo is being approved more than three months ahead of the product’s prescription drug user fee goal date of Aug. 14, 2013, the date the agency was scheduled to complete review of the drug application. The FDA reviewed Xofigo under the agency’s priority review program, which provides for an expedited review of drugs that appear to provide safe and effective therapy when no satisfactory alternative therapy exists, or offer significant improvement compared to marketed products.
In August 2012, the FDA approved Xtandi to treat men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread or recurred, even with medical or surgical therapy to minimize testosterone. Xtandi is approved for patients who have previously been treated the chemotherapy drug docetaxel.
The most common side effects reported during clinical trials in men receiving Xofigo were nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and swelling of the leg, ankle or foot. The most common abnormalities detected during blood testing included low levels of red blood cells (anemia), lymphocytes (lymphocytopenia), white blood cells (leukopenia), platelets (thrombocytopenia) and infection-fighting white blood cells (neutropenia).Xofigo is marketed by Wayne, N.J.-based Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Xtandi is co-marketed by Astellas Pharma U.S., Inc. of Northbrook, Ill., and Medivation, Inc. of San Francisco, Calif.

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