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Velcade® (bortezomib)

Discovery to Commercialization

The discovery of Velcade® for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) originated from a collaboration with ProScript Inc. and NCI scientists, Drs. Edward A. Sausville and Jill Johnson from the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, Developmental Therapeutics Program. NCI has supported and continues to fund research on the structural and biochemical complexities of the proteasome, as well as clinical trials on Velcade® and various drug combinations.

NCI Contribution

  • Conducted preclinical studies for Velcade®
  • Developed a more plasma-soluble formulation with a longer, stable shelf life

Partners' Contribution

  • Myogenetics, a small company that later changed its name to ProScript, synthesized the active ingredient for Velcade®
  • ProScript conducted preclinical oncology studies in collaboration with institutions including the NCI, NIH
  • Millennium Pharmaceuticals initiated the clinical trials that resulted in FDA approval

Outcome of Collaboration

  • Product -- Anti-cancer drug Velcade®
  • In 2006, the FDA approved Velcade® as treatment for multiple myeloma patients whose cancer did not respond to conventional treatments or came back after initially responding to treatment.
  • In 2008, the FDA approved Velcade® as an initial treatment for patients diagnosed with MM. 
  • Velcade® is being clinically tested against ovarian, colon, pancreatic, lung, and prostate cancers, as well as leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Learn More

To learn more about the discovery to commercialization story of Velcade®, see “Velcade®: A New Tool in the Fight Against Multiple Myeloma

package of Velcade
Thursday, February 18, 2016