New treatment for Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia approved by the TGA and offered free of charge to patients

Zanubrutinib is a new small molecule inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) that has been compared to ibrutinib in clinical trials.  The ASPEN trial compared zanubrutinib to ibrutinib for the treatment of patient with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM) and demonstrated a higher very good partial response rate as well as improvements in safety and tolerability.  The results of these trials lead to the therapeutic goods administration approving the treatment for use in Australia.  The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) yet to decide if it will be funded by the government but until that decision is made BeiGene, the manufacturers of zanubrutinib, will offer the treatment free of charge through a compassionate use program.

Zanubrutinib is also approved for use in Australia for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma in patients who have received at least one prior therapy.

Trials for zanubrutinib are also underway for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, small lymphocytic lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and marginal zone lymphoma.

It is incredibly exciting to see advances in treatments and so many trials underway. This really provides hope for many patients.