A drug that could melt away cancer cells in some patients with advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia has been approved for human use in Australia.
Developed in Melbourne, Venetoclax has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and will be sold as Venclexta
The drug, which was approved for use in the US in August 2016, works by blocking the action of the BCL-2 protein which enables cancer cells to survive, a solution that researchers worldwide have been studying for more than 30 years.
Doug Hilton, the director at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, said the approval was important for patients with limited options.
David Huang, the developer of the drug said the drug could be taken as a tablet once a day.
The approval was a major milestone for researchers around the world who have been looking into a way to stop the protein for more than 30 years.