November 6, 2017 / 4:46 PM / a year ago

U.S. FDA approves Roche drug for rare type of blood cancer

Nov 6 (Reuters) - Roche Holding AG won U.S. approval to market its skin cancer drug Zelboraf for certain patients with Erdheim-Chester Disease, a rare type of blood cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Zelboraf to treat patients with Erdheim-Chester Disease whose cancer cells have a genetic mutation known as BRAF V600. It is the first FDA-approved treatment for the disease.

Zelboraf is already approved to treat melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, in patients whose cancer cells also contain a BRAF V600 mutation. Only 600 to 700 patients world-wide suffer from Erdheim-Chester Disease, and about 54 percent of those have the BRAF V600 mutation, the FDA said. (Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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