Kidney transplant patients have new medicinal option

Jul 12, 2011

New drug for kidney transplant patients

A drug that helps prevent organ rejection in patients who have had a kidney transplant has just been approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to Reuters. The drug, Nulojix, is to be used with other drugs to help suppress the immune system.

The drug received final approval after two phase III clinical trials of 1,200 patients was completed, MedPage Today reports. Nulojix is given in 30-minute intravenous infusions and acts as a T-cell costimulation blocker.

With an increase in approved rejection drugs, people having a transplant may be seen as less of a risk for life insurance companies. Without the suppression of the immune system the human body can reject a new organ because it sees it as a foreign body and attacks it, according to Reuters.

The drug will be labeled with a warning that the patients may have an increased risk of developing a cancer called post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder. With this cancer white blood cells grow out of control after a transplant, the media outlet reports.

Some experts believe that since the drug has to be delivered intravenously it may not sell very quickly. Most forms of anti-rejection treatment are delivered through an oral dose.

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