Degarelix, an injectable treatment for advanced prostate cancer manufactured for Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc., Parsippany, N.J., by Rentschler Biotechnologie Gmbh, Laupheim, Germany, has won approval from the FDA.

This new gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor inhibitor  slows the progression of prostate cancer by suppressing testosterone. The efficacy of degarelix was established in a clinical trial of prostate cancer patients who received either degarelix or leuprolide, a current hormonal therapy.

Degarelix did not cause the temporary testosterone increase which is seen with some other drugs that affect GnRH receptors and can prompt a temporary growth in tumors. In fact, nearly all patients on either drug experienced suppression of testosterone to levels seen with surgical removal of the testes.

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