Northern Ireland-based pharma company Galen has acquired a chemotherapy agent to treat advanced HIV-related Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS) from Gilead Sciences.
DaunoXome (daunorubicin citrate liposome injection) has been approved in the US since 1996 as a first-line cytotoxic therapy for advanced KS, a typical disease in patients with active HIV.
Galen US, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Galen Ltd, will market DaunoXome in the US.
DaunoXome has been shown to be as effective as a triple chemotherapy regimen in the treatment of KS, which affects the skin and internal organs.
Before treatment for them existed, KS lesions were considered a key indicator of HIV infection.
“HIV-associated KS is an AIDS-defining illness, which has considerable impact on patient prognosis,” commented Dr. Anil Tulpule, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Norris Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California.
“For some HIV patients with advanced or poorly controlled KS, chemotherapy may be required alongside highly active antiretroviral therapy, to effectively target the cancer. DaunoXome provides a much-needed option for physicians needing to treat advanced HIV-associated KS patients with such chemotherapy regimens.”
Mark Scrutton, President of Galen, said: “DaunoXome marks our first step into the oncology arena, and this exciting new acquisition provides us with the opportunity to offer more widely a much-needed therapy.”
Galen is seeking to expand its global reach through international strategic partnerships and drug discovery focused on cancer treatments.