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NJ ranks second in cancer treatment drugs

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New Jersey life sciences companies produced 357 of the roughly 1,120 cancer treatments produced in the U.S. in 2017.

That’s second only to California, where life sciences companies produced 388 new cancer drugs.

The figures were compiled by national biopharma trade group the Pharmaceuticals Research and Manufacturers of America. PhRMA data show Massachusetts produced the third most cancer treatment drugs with 261, while New York State was fourth with 114, and Maryland was fifth with 74.

In New Jersey, 78 of the new cancer treatment drugs were produced by Summit-based Celgene, according to the data, while 61 were produced by Merck, including Keytruda, an antibody used in cancer immunotherapy currently in phase III clinical trials. Among Celgene’s drugs is Pomalyst, anti-angiogenic used as a treatment for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, a rare type of blood cancer.

“We are just beginning to understand the true power of new cancer treatments, including immuno-oncology and personalized medicines, to help patients,” PhRMA said. “There is still a need for new cancer treatments and potential cures. Many of the 1,120 medicines in the pipeline today are using novel approaches to attack cancer.”

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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