European Commission grants J&J, Celgene blood cancer approvals


The European Commission was good to blood cancer drugmakers this week, granting multiple myeloma approvals for Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Velcade and Celgene's ($CELG) Imnovid. While Velcade was already approved for certain multiple myeloma cases, the new guidance will open up its market to cover earlier use in the cancer. Velcade, in combination with certain other drugs, can now be used as a first-line treatment option for adults. Velcade is one of the drugs that J&J has been pushing for line extensions to boost revenue while it builds out products in its pipeline. Imnovid's approval is more limited in scope: It covers use of the drug in adult patients who have received at least two prior therapies and still demonstrated disease progression.