FDA approves Novartis drug for Cushing's disease

Signifor described as first FDA-approved drug to treat disease's underlying mechanism

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat a rare but serious endocrine disorder.

Swiss drug maker Novartis announced the approval of Signifor (pasireotide), an injectable drug for treating Cushing's disease in adults for whom pituitary surgery is not an option or has not been curative. Novartis said Signifor was the first drug to be approved in the United States that addresses the disease's underlying mechanism.

The disease is a debilitating disorder that most commonly affects patients aged 20 to 50 and is caused by a benign pituitary tumor that leads to excessive amounts of the metabolic hormone cortisol, leading to weight gain, obesity, fatigue, weakness, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety.

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