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First New Sickle Cell Drug to Launch in 20 Years

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 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug on Friday that reduces the complications associated with sickle cell disease — the first drug approved for the blood disorder in more than 20 years.

The drug, called Endari, consists of L-glutamine, which is an amino acid, and is approved for sickle cell patients five years and older.

“I am hoping we are finally seeing channels opening, and that this will be the first of many new drugs to hit the market [for sickle cell disease],” said Dr. Alexis A. Thompson, head of the Hematology Section and Director of the Comprehensive Thalassemia Program at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

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This 2009 colorized microscope image made available by the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a sickle cell, left, and normal red blood cells of a patient with sickle cell anemia. Janice Haney Carr / Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia via AP

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Click link below for article:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/first-new-sickle-cell-drug-launch-20-years-n781021

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