For any company operating at the forefront of science, one of the best ways to generate publicity is to get positive results of its products published in leading academic journals.
That's about to happen for biopharmaceutical company Millennium Pharmaceuticals
Since Velcade is already an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that begins in the plasma cells, getting the results of this trial published for an unapproved indication of the drug will drive additional off-label usage of Velcade even before it gains the regulatory approval to treat this disease.
An FDA decision on whether to approve Velcade to treat mantle cell lymphoma is scheduled for Dec. 9. Based on the dearth of treatments for this disease and the 33% response rate seen in patients taking the drug, I'll go out on a limb and say that Millennium should have little problem gaining FDA approval to market Velcade as a treatment for this indication.
The other big news affecting Millennium this week was the announcement from AnorMED
As I've said before, Genzyme's much deeper pockets and bigger size will let it outbid Millennium if it wants AnorMED badly enough. The bidding for AnorMED should be over within the next month or so. Meanwhile, with the FDA decision on the Velcade label expansion also rapidly approaching, Millennium may look like a different company, for better or worse, by the end of 2006.
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Fool contributor Brian Lawler does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article.