Pfizer Inc.'s (NYSE:PFE) pill to treat a rare type of blood and bone-marrow cancer has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
New York-based Pfizer's Bosulif is the third new medicine from the company's oncology's pipeline to be approved by the FDA in 13 months.
The U.S. health regulators cleared Bosulif to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), a blood and bone marrow disease that usually affects older adults.
Bosulif works by blocking the signal of the tyrosine kinase that promotes the development of abnormal and unhealthy granulocytes.
CML is one of the four most common types of leukemia, with more than 5,000 new cases diagnosed per year in the United States. An estimated 5,430 men and women will be diagnosed with CML in 2012, the FDA noted.
Other drugs recently approved by FDA to treat various forms of CML include imatinib (2001), dasatinib (2006) and nilotinib (2007).
The FDA approval of Bosulif is based on a Pfizer trial that enrolled 546 adult patients who had chronic, accelerated or blast phase CML.
The FDA said the most common side effects observed in those receiving Bosulif were diarrhea, nausea, a low level of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia), vomiting, abdominal pain, rash, low red blood cell count (anemia), fever and fatigue.
PFE shares rose 0.40 percent to trade at $23.87 on Wednesday.