"A couple of months ago, the FDA approved the latest drug to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Called ponatinib (brand name Iclusig, made by Ariad), the drug is a third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor, the latest in a class of agents founded in 2001 with the approval of imatinib (Gleevec, Novartis). Imatinib, followed by dasatinib and nilotinib, and now ponatinib, are tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
... However, the story of ponatinib stands on its own because it is yet another targeted drug that is offering a treatment to patients who would otherwise have died from their disease by now, having run through all other options.
Recently I spoke with Michael Mauro, of Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU), who was a lead investigator both on the early lab studies of ponatinib and on the clinical trials that led to its approval.
Here’s what he had to say about this new drug and why it matters"