3 drugs to watch in early 2022

OptumRx, the pharmacy benefit manager unit of UnitedHealth Group, shared three drugs to watch in the first quarter of 2022 in its latest "Drug Pipeline Insights Report."

Below is a summary of the three drugs.

1. Tezepelumab. The FDA approved tezepelumab, a treatment for severe asthma, Dec. 17. The drug works by blocking specific molecules that affect airway inflammation. The drug has a broad indication and can be used for a large patient population. AstraZeneca and Amgen developed the drug, which goes by the brand name Tezspire.

2. Cabotegravir. This drug is intended for use as a pre-exposure prophylaxis for individuals at high-risk of contracting HIV-1. While existing PrEP treatments involve daily pills, cabotegravir is an injection given every two months. The FDA approved the drug Dec. 20 under the brand name Apretude. ViiV Healthcare, the drug's maker, said it will ship cabotegravir to U.S. wholesalers and specialty distributors early this year.

3. Vadadustat. This drug is designed to treat anemia caused by chronic kidney disease. The FDA is expected to make a decision on vadadustat's approval March 29. If approved, the medication would offer an oral alternative to the injectable medications currently used to treat anemia associated with CKD. 

View the full report here.

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