Cellectar brain cancer treatment clears hurdle

Madison-based Cellectar is developing a cancer treatment for glioma, an aggressive and common form of brain cancer. The company recently received orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for I-124-CLR1404, a compound currently in phase II imaging trials to determine how well it detects cancer cells.

Orphan drug status means the company will receive some economic incentives toward drug development for diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. If the FDA approves the drug for sale, Cellectar will also receive seven years of market exclusivity. More than 20,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with malignant brain tumors, with glioblastoma being the most common type of tumor.