Acalabrutinib is a novel oral anti-cancer drug in clinical development for people with relapsed or refractory (R/R) chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) who have previously been treated (second line or greater). CLL is a type of cancer in which too many white blood cells are produced. As these cells develop abnormally, they are unable to function and fight infection and stop the production of healthy blood cells. The disease is chronic and develops slowly. R/R CLL means the cancer has come back after treatment and reaching remission, or the cancer has failed to respond to treatment. Treatment options for R/R CLL include targeted therapy drugs, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery.
Acalabrutinib works by blocking a specific enzyme referred to as Bruton’s Tryrosine Kinase, to slow the build-up of cancerous cells in CLL, thereby delaying or stopping the progression of the disease. The Bruton’s Tryrosine Kinase enzyme has been identified as an important therapeutic target for the treatment of CLL. Acalabrutinib is thought to be a more selective and irreversible blocker of this enzyme and is specifically designed to improve on the safety and efficacy of first generation inhibitors. Acalabrutinib has demonstrated encouraging results in clinical trials and may offer an effective treatment option for R/R CLL patients who have received other previous treatment.
Daratumumab injected under the skin (subcutaneous formulation) is in development for the treatment multiple myeloma (MM) as an alternative to currently approved daratumumab intravenous formulation. MM is a rare, incurable cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow where large amounts of abnormal plasma cells are produced and interfere with the production of platelets, red and white blood cells. People with MM will experience periods of time without symptoms followed by periods when the illness comes back (‘relapsed’ MM). Eventually the periods without symptoms will shorten and the illness will become immune to the drugs given to treat it (‘refractory’ MM).