August 30, 2017 / 3:07 PM / in a year

Novartis gene therapy for leukemia wins U.S. approval

Aug 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday approved Novartis AG’s keenly anticipated leukemia treatment, marking the first gene therapy approval in the United States.

The drug, Kymriah, was approved for patients up to 25 years of age suffering from B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), who have relapsed or failed chemotherapy. (

Kymriah belongs to a class of drugs called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell or CAR-T therapies, which harness the body’s own immune cells to recognize and attack malignant cells.

Novartis is competing with Kite Pharma Inc, Juno Therapeutics Inc and Bluebird Bio Inc in the emerging lucrative field. (Reporting by Natalie Grover and Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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