(Reuters) -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Merck’s drug belzutifan for a type of kidney cancer.
The drug, branded as Welireg, is used to treat patients with renal cell carcinoma who have received prior treatment.
Renal cell carcinoma is a disease in which cancer cells are found in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney.
Welireg’s approval is based on data from a late-stage trial, where the drug showed statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) of patient compared to Novartis’ drug, everolimus.
PFS refers to how long a patient lives without the disease getting worse after treatment.
In 2021, the drug was approved for cancers associated with Von Hippel-Lindau Disease, a rare, genetic disorder in which non-cancerous tumors grow in certain parts of the body.
(Reporting by Christy Santhosh; Editing by Maju Samuel)