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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a partial clinical hold on all clinical trials evaluating venetoclax for the investigational treatment of multiple myeloma.

According to the press release publish by AbbVie, the partial clinical hold follows a review of data from the ongoing Phase 3 BELLINI trial (M14-031), a study in relapsed/refractory myeloma, in which a higher proportion of deaths was observed in the venetoclax arm compared to the control arm of the trial. As a result of this action, no new patients should be enrolled in any studies of venetoclax for myeloma until a further analysis of the data is completed. Patients who are currently enrolled in studies and receiving benefit from the therapy may continue with treatment, after consultation with their physician.

This action does not impact any of the approved indications for venetoclax, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and is limited to investigational clinical trials in multiple myeloma.


BELLINI is a multicenter, randomized, double blind study of bortezomib and dexamethasone in combination with either venetoclax, a first-in-class medicine that selectively binds and inhibits the B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) protein, or placebo in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received 1 to 3 prior lines of therapy and are sensitive or naïve to proteasome inhibitors.

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