Zevalin Becomes Available in Canada for Relapsed or Refractory Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas

Zevalin Becomes Available in Canada for Relapsed or Refractory Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas

Patients in Canada with relapsed or refractory low-grade or follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, who produce the CD20 factor, can now be treated with Zevalin (ibritumomab tiuxetan).

Servier Canada, Zevalin’s manufacturer, announced that the treatment is now available by prescription, and can be acquired via the Servier Therapy Access Resources (STAR) program, designed to help with the ordering process.

“I am very pleased that Zevalin is now available in Canada, offering another treatment option for indolent lymphoma patients whose disease has progressed,” Elizabeth Lye, scientific adviser of Lymphoma Canada, said in a press release. “Indolent lymphoma is an incurable disease. Patients should have access to an array of treatments to be able to fight the disease when it relapses.”

Zevalin is an immunotherapy that combines the radioactive Yttrium-90 molecule with an antibody that targets the CD20 receptor in cancer B-cells.

The benefits of Zevalin in follicular lymphoma were demonstrated in clinical trials, including patients who had failed prior Rituxan (rituximab) and who had never received Rituxan.

This radioimmunotherapy is the only single-course treatment regimen approved by Health Canada for low-grade and follicular lymphomas that does not require chemotherapy.

“Zevalin adds another treatment option for patients with indolent [slowly progressive] non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who have failed prior standard therapies,” Pierre Laneuville, MD, associate professor of medicine at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, said in a press release. “I have used it in the past for my patients, some of whom are still in remission 10 years later. I am glad to have it back.”

Servier Canada recently announced the expansion of its oncology program with the acquisition of two marketed products by Shire: Oncaspar (pegaspargase) for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Onivyde (irinotecan liposome) for aggressive pancreatic cancer.

Also, the company submitted an approval request for Folotyn (pralatrexate) and Beleodaq (belinostat) with Health Canada as anti-cancer agents for relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma.

“Servier is fully committed to discovering and providing Canadian cancer patients with innovative treatment options. Zevalin is the first in a series of novel treatments to be marketed in Canada,” said Frederic Fasano, CEO of Servier Canada.

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