Monday, February 10, 2014

End is Near for Bexxar

This is almost two weeks old, but Jamie Reno published a nice piece for the International Business Times on the demise of Bexxar, the RadioImmunoTherapy treatment that will be discontinued by GlaxoSmithKline on February 20.

Reno focuses on the issue of profits vs. people. Bexxar has proven to be very effective, especially over the long-term (and Reno is himself an example of that), but is more difficult to administer than Rituxan or traditional chemo. As a result, despite its good track record, Bexxar hasn't been used as much as other treatments. So GSK is giving up on it (rather than, say, selling it to another company who might put more effort into marketing it). It means another option is gone for Follicular Lymphoma patients. Profits weren't there, so people suffer.

Read the article. Reno does a nice job of laying out the issues. (That's why he's a Lymphoma Rock Star.)

I get the feeling that, despite their successes, RIT is on its way out -- Zevalin and another being developed. Particularly with newer Kinase inhibitors, anti-PD1s, and vaccines being developed, something as complicated (or perceived to be complicated) probably isn't going to be pushed up the preference list. If we're lucky, Zevalin will at least stick around, so the option will be there if we need it.

That's a little pessimistic, I know, but we still have lots of options, with more on the way.

(And I'm going to have to stop there. Stiff shoulder. Maybe that's contributing to my pessimism?)

No comments: