Genta Inc. on Thursday said U.S. regulators approved its first drug, Ganite, used to control potentially life-threatening hypercalcemia in patients with advanced cancer.
The company said cancer-related hypercalcemia is usually caused by the release of proteins from tumor cells that speeds the loss of calcium from the bone. Genta said the condition is most common among patients with cancers of the lung, breast, head and neck, kidney, and with multiple myeloma. Ganite was originally developed by the National Cancer Institute as a cancer treatment, but was then developed for hypercalcemia after separate studies showed it markedly reduced the loss of calcium from bone. Genta is best known for its experimental drug to treat malignant melanoma, Genasense, which the company has been developing with Aventis SA. The two companies last week said they had begun the process of seeking U.S. approval for Genasense, even though it showed only limited results in late-stage clinical trials. (Source: Reuters Health: September 18, 2003: Oncolink)